'Commercial rafting boosts adventure tourism in Kashmir'
Adhere to safety standards: KROA to tourists
GK NEWS NETWORK
Srinagar, July 2: While the commercial rafting in Kashmir has fairly given boost to adventure tourism, the stakeholders are putting due stress on ensuring safety norms.
Buoyed with its success, the stakeholders today said almost every tourist, who happens to visit Pahalgam, undertakes a pleasure rafting ride with their families.
“This segment of adventure has become a family activity and is increasingly growing in the Valley. It has become a recognized unit of tourism industry now and generated employment for number of unemployed youth,” they said.
However, the stakeholders said the riders should adhere to the safety norms. Pertinently, the Kashmir Rafting Operators Association (KROA) has urged the people taking raft boat rides to cooperate with the instructors for safety purposes.
A KROA spokesperson said it is adopting all safety standards during the rafting, “however, riders should cooperate with the instructors to adhere to safety norms.”
“Rafting is conducted to provide recreation and pleasure to tourists and make our resort more attractive,” he said, adding that however, there is inherent risk in adventure sports.
“These activities are safe till one adheres to safety rules. We take all precautionary measures to ensure safe ride for the tourists and locals,” he said.
Pertinently, last week two women drowned in Nallah Sindh after the rafting boat they were riding capsized at Sonamarg.
The spokesman said besides helmets and life jackets, the KROA ensures to keep rescue boats with highly trained rescuers at different places in the selected rafting stretches.
“We don’t compromise on safety measures. All the companies have raised highly sophisticated equipment worth crores of rupees. We hire the services of foreign guides for running our rafts. They are highly trained, experienced and licensed. They are also trained in rescue work,” he said.
The spokesman said the commercial river rafting was introduced in Kashmir in 2004 by an adventure tour operating company, Highland Excursions, Srinagar on Lidder Nallah at Pahalgam. It said earlier the University of Kashmir was conducting the training courses for its students on different rivers and streams in the State.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 2 Jul 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 2 Jul 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 3 Jul 2011 00:00:00 IST
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