The president of the rafting association, Dinesh Bhatt, on Saturday demanded early allotment of 22 beach camp sites selected along the banks of the Ganga by the NGT in 2016 among rafting operators to give a boost to adventure tourism in Uttarakhand. He raised the issue at a tourism village chaupal in Tiwargaon in Tehri by Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami to interact with people connected with the tourism industry.
A high-level panel appointed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had selected 22 beach camp sites 100 metres from the river in 2016 but they have still not been allotted to raft operators, Bhatt said.
Beach camping is part of rafting and due to non-allotment of beach camp sites, equipment worth lakhs of rupees bought by raft operators is getting wasted in stores, he said.
Bhatt asked the Chief Minister Dhami to intervene so that these beach camp sites are allotted immediately among raft operators by the tourism department. He also suggested that the licence of raft firms should not be cancelled immediately in case of an accident.
“Rafting is an adventure sport. Accidents keep occurring in this field as they do on roads and in the air. Immediate cancellation of licences of rafting firms in such cases is not fair,” Bhatt said.
Chief Minister Dhami said more and more youths will be connected with rafting to give a boost to adventure tourism. Efforts will also be made to make the beach camp sites cleared by the NGT operational. He also said Tiwargaon has set an example for the rest of the state with the highest number of 32 homestays.