Need of Hour is to Regulate Rafting Sites along Kaudiyala-Rishikesh Stretch



Rajvanshi, Asha, Bhardwaj G. S.,  Arora, Roshni and Pragatheesh (June 2010). A Rapid Impact Assessment of the Rafting Camps along the Kaudiyala-Rishikesh Stretch of River Ganges, Uttarakhand.  Wildlife Institute of India.

This study evaluates economic and environmental impact of rafting camps along the famous Kaudiyala-Rishikesh stretch of the River Ganges in Uttarakhand. Another objective of the study is to define environmental management guidelines, including a best practice code to regulate adventure tourism. Each camp was surveyed to record its current status and assess its ecological value. The report quantifies employment generated and income earned, and measures impact of camping and rafting sites on the environment. Camping and rafting sites have grown in leaps and bounds from just two in 1994 to34 in2010, a16 times increase in just 17 years. Size and location of 13 campsites is affecting wildlife habitats. For instance, the Camp Site No 3 drained by several streams is an ideal place for wildlife, and thus unsuitable for camping. Generic guidelines have been spelt out to minimize the impact of the camps on the environment. There is a need to rationalize the number of camps and rafts, and operating times for optimizing the benefits without affecting the environment.

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