Tourists told to observe safety norms in adventure sports

  • Dipender Manta, Hindustan Times, Kullu
  • Updated: Apr 17, 2015 22:27 IST

Negligence of the authorities to enforce safety measures while engaging in adventure sports activities may prove dangerous, even fatal, for tourists visiting the district. On April 15 a group of 26 tourists including a German national were stranded at the Bashleu pass in the Banjar forest area. According to official sources, they had lost their way after venturing out on a trekking expedition without taking the assistance of a local guide, due to which they were forced to spend the night in inclement weather in the forest.

Meanwhile, the district administration has again urged tourists to observe safety guidelines while engaging in adventure sports activities.

Ignorance of safety measures and lack of knowledge about the local terrain is putting tourists, both domestic and foreign, at great risk. Every year fatal accidents involving tourists by drowning in the Beas and Parbati rivers occur in the district because they were not aware about the dangers posed by the rivers. Till date more than 19 foreign nationals of different countries who ventured out for trekking in the district have lost their lives.

Last year in June 24 students of a Hyderabad engineering institute were washed away in the Beas river near the Thalout area in Mandi district by a sudden gush of water released by the Larji hydel power project from its dam's floodgates when they were clicking pictures on the riverside. The incident shook the entire country.

Despite such a huge tragedy it seems no lesson has been learnt, which indicates the authorities concerned have failed to instill awareness among the public about the danger of ignoring safety guidelines.

Kullu deputy commissioner Rakesh Kanwar said, “We have urged tourists to take proper safety measures whenever they visit the district. They should take the help of professional guides during their visit and also inform the local police station about their trip plans, which may help the administration to provide speedy help in time of need.”

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