Adventure Tourism

Ban on adventure sports likely to be lifted before September

The Uttarakhand cabinet has recently gave nod to the new rafting and adventure sports regulations and in view of this the Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board said it was confident that the ban would be lifted before September.

“The high court had banned adventure sports in the state from June 22 due to the absence of a transparent regulation policy. “Since we have a policy in place, we are now in the position to resume the adventure sports activities. We are taking a legal opinion on whether we need to move the court for this. But, as per our understanding, the court did not require us to get an approval from it. It just wanted a framework in place, under which these activities can take place,” said Dilip Jawalkar, CEO of the tourism board.

After the monsoon break, the adventure sports activities usually gain momentum in September. But, with the cabinet giving nod, the operators are hopeful that the businesses will not affected if it resume by September.

The Cabinet has approved the amendments to river rafting policies, as per which vehicles carrying rafts will not be allowed within 100 metres of the river bank, a rafting technical committee will identify spots on both sides of the bank to facilitate entry and exit. The new policy also mandates tourism department nod for allocation of government or forest land on riverbanks where rafting activities are currently not being conducted. Rafting operators will have to display their fares on websites, brochures and receptions, stated the policy. Tourists, under the influence of alcohol or any other intoxicating substance, will not be allowed to go for rafting.

For foot launch aero sports and paragliding, it will be mandatory to have a minimum 100 hours of flying experience in order to become a tandem pilot according the new draft. Technical and regulating committees have been formed to ensure proper implementation. The technical committee will also identify new spots suitable for paragliding.