Frame policy for safer adventure sports: Bombay HC to Maharashtra govt
The high court order came after a plea by the parents of a young trekker who died of a respiratory disorder during a Himalayan expeditionmumbai Updated: Jul 23, 2017 01:24 IST
While the safety of citizens is “of paramount consideration”, the state must also promote and “not discourage adventure sports”, the Bombay high court said.
The HC has now asked the Maharashtra government to come up with a fresh, comprehensive policy to regulate adventure sports in the state.
A bench of justice Naresh Patil and justice Bharati Dangre asked the government to come up with such a policy in the three months.
The bench was hearing a public interest litigation highlighting inadequacies in a government resolution (GR), notified by the state in 2014, to regulate adventure sports across Maharashtra.
The GR was issued in compliance with a previous HC order that had asked the state to evolve rules and guidelines to regulate adventure sports.
This HC order came after a plea by the parents of a young trekker who died of a respiratory disorder during a Himalayan expedition .
Earlier this month, however, a bunch of adventure sports enthusiasts and organisers brought to the court’s notice through their PIL that the GR — meant to lay down guidelines and instructions for registration of organisations, agents and people who undertake adventure sports activities such as trekking, mountaineering, skiing, snowboarding, handgliding and paragliding — was not being implemented effectively.
The petitioners said several provisions of the GR, especially those pertaining to registration, were “impractical”.
The PIL said the government was yet to constitute the mandatory supervisory committees at the divisional and district levels across the state, as it had failed to identify a “sufficient number of experts who could supervise the implementation of the GR”.
The state government told the court it was aware of the inadequacies in the GR and had decided to revise it.
But this revision has been pending since April 2015 owing to a “difference of opinion between the state tourism department and the sports department”, it said.
The HC has now asked the principal secretaries of the departments concerned to sort out these differences and come up with a revised policy.
The HC is likely to hear the matter again in eight weeks.