The Uttarakhand Cabinet on Wednesday approved a revised policy on adventure sports, imposing a total ban on the use of intoxicants by enthusiasts while rafting, kayaking or canoeing in the state. The revised policy, which also fixes a minimum qualification for raft operators, got the Cabinet’s nod at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, state Finance Minister Prakash Pant said at a media briefing after the meeting. The amended rules on river rafting, kayaking and canoeing are more practical which will make adventure sports safer in Uttarakhand, Pant said.
Stricter penal provisions have also been made in the revised policy for violators, he said. Taking a serious view of frequent accidents during rafting in the state, the Uttarakhand High Court had put a ban on it at the peak of the season in June this year until a revised policy on adventure sports was not brought into force by the state government. The high court had attributed the rise in accidents during river rafting primarily due to the absence of proper regulations and underlined the need for a revised policy on adventure sports.
The Cabinet also gave its nod to revised rules on paragliding and aero sports for the sake of public safety, Pant said. In another major decision, the Cabinet gave its clearance to amendments in the Religious Freedom Act, laying down a well-defined procedure for cancellation of registration of institutions which indulge in fraudulent activities in the name of religion.