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River rafting resumes in Uttarakhand, camping still in works

Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board (UTDB) formulated a set of rules which were approved by the cabinet following which river rafting resumed in Rishikesh from September 22

dehradun Updated: Sep 27, 2018 04:57 IST
Nitika Kakkar
Nitika Kakkar
Hindustan Times, Dehradun
River rafting,Uttarakhand,Rishikesh
Rafting operators welcomed the new regulations but they say it is just the first step.(HT File Photo)

After the high court’s ban on adventure sports in state from June 18, citing absence of laws regulating white water rafting, paragliding and water sports, Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board (UTDB) formulated a set of rules which were approved by the cabinet following which river rafting resumed in Rishikesh from September 22.

The HC had on September 12 lifted the ban after the state government presented the Uttarakhand River Rafting/Kayaking Rules, 2014 in the court.

Rafting operators welcomed the new regulations but they say it is just the first step. “The rules say there should be a river guide but where is a guide supposed to get qualification from? National Institute of Water Sports in Goa is the only institute but the government has not associated with the institute to regularise this course,” said Dinesh Kathait, a rafting operator in Rishikesh. “Despite HC order, state government has not defined the minimum rates for rafting,” he added.

“Rafting and camping are complimentary activities, which is why they were offered as a package. Now tourists who come for rafting have to stay in hotels or other places. It affects our business but more importantly it is disappointing for the tourists,” said Devendra Rawat, a rafting operator in Rishikesh.

First Published: Sep 27, 2018 04:57 IST