Fourteen states have deployed tourist police in one form or the other, Union Tourism Minister K J Alphons said in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.
These states were — Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Odisha — he said in a written reply to a question in the Upper House of Parliament.
Listing out the measures taken by his ministry to ensure the safety of tourists, Alphons said it had launched the 24×7 Multi-Lingual Tourist Info-Helpline (toll-free number 1800111363, shortcode 1363) in 12 languages (Hindi, English and 10 international languages) in February 2016.
It was launched to provide support to the tourists in terms of information relating to travelling in India and it also offered appropriate guidance to the tourists in distress, he added.
“The ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ social awareness campaigns have been introduced by the Ministry of Tourism with the objective of sensitising the stakeholders and the general public about various social awareness themes. An advisory has been posted on the Ministry of Tourism website, www.incredibleindia.org, indicating that India remains a safe destination for international tourists, including women,” Alphons said.
The security of tourists was a state subject, the minister said, adding that however, the Ministry of Tourism, in consultation with the state governments and Union Territory administrations, had proposed to set up tourist police units at prominent tourist spots in the country.