BSNL has partnered with Ministry of Tourism to provide pre-loaded SIM cards to tourists arriving in India on an e-Visa. The facility was launched yesterday by Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State for Tourism and Culture. The facility will initially be available only on the Terminal 3 of New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport. The service will be then expanded to 15 other international airports which have e-Visa facilities available. These are - Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bengaluru, Chennai, Cochin, Gaya, Goa, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Tiruchirapalli, Trivandrum and Varanasi.
The provided SIM card will have Rs. 50 talktime and 50MB of data, which would be valid for 30 days. The SIM expenses as well as the procedural expenses will be sustained by the Tourism Ministry itself. According to the Ministry's press page, the SIM cards will be activated on immediate basis and will enable tourists to make use of the services instantly. To avail these service, foreign tourists will be required to submit a copy of their e-Visa along with a copy of their passport’s first page.
“This unique initiative will facilitate the foreign tourists in communicating with their acquaintances immediately after their arrival in India, said, Dr. Mahesh Sharma on the launch. In addition to this pre-loaded SIM service, Ministry of Tourism also launched a 24 x 7 Tourist Helpline 1800111363 in Twelve foreign languages including Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. This has been done to help foreign visitors can receive the right information in their native language.
While the service will be synced to a user’s e-Visa on arrival, there is no mention of the service on the government portal to avail for an e-Visa.
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