Uttarakhand high court lifts ban on rafting, paragliding and other water sports
The Uttarakhand high court on Wednesday lifted its ban on rafting, paragliding and other water sports in all rivers of the state.
The ruling comes after the state government filed a comprehensive affidavit along with documents related to ‘The Uttarakhand River Rafting/Kayaking Rules, 2014’ before the high court.
On June 18, the court had banned rafting, paragliding and other water sports in all rivers of the state till the state government framed a policy to regulate them.
Modifying its previous order, the court on Wednesday said: “The state government has filed a comprehensive affidavit and also placed an annexure on record viz. Uttarakhand River Rafting/Kayaking Rules, 2014. White river rafting is permitted in the state, strictly as per the Uttarakhand River Rafting/Kayaking Rules, 2014.”
The HC also permitted the army to undertake white river rafting after taking all precautions and directed the state government to issue necessary no objection certificate to the army within a period of three days.
According to an application submitted in the HC, it was pointed out that “army personnel have to undertake rafting as per their standard procedure” in the rivers of the state.
A division bench of acting chief justice Rajiv Sharma and justice Lok Pal Singh gave these directions while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Rishikesh based social activist Hari Om Kashyap.
The petitioner had pointed out in his PIL that authorities concerned were issuing illegal leases in favour of the private agencies in the river bed of the Ganga.
According to the PIL, temporary structures were allowed to be set up on the banks of Ganga and rafting was being carried out by private entrepreneurs without following any law.