Overseas travellers arriving in India on e-tourist visa will in all probability get a SIM card from the end of September. The hopes were close to a realisation after the Home Ministry gave its go-ahead and the ministry managed to convince the government-owned BSNL for this purpose.
Mahesh Sharma, Union Tourism Minister, was quoted by the Indian Express as saying that they had a number of discussions with the Home Ministry in a bid to provide SIM cards to foreign tourists when they arrive in the country. After the Home Ministry agreed to their proposal, they said it would take some time to introduce this scheme, he said.
It is an effort to position India as a worldwide tourist destination among foreign travellers in addition to dealing with the security concerns by providing the tourists with mobile phones, allowing them to make calls if any emergency arises, according to an official.
Overseas tourists are subjected to problems when trying to obtain a SIM card, making them rely on local telephone booths. This service would address the issue of security too, the official added.
Preloaded with talktime amount, the SIM card would be given with a welcome kit which would also include maps, dos and don’ts list and tourism booklets that would provide information on various tourist destinations and contact details of people to contact in case of distress, he added.
Vinod Zutshi, Tourism Secretary, said he felt that the service may likely be launched on 27 September, World Tourism Day.