9 Things You Should Know about Uttarakhand Kayaking/Rafting Permits

The Uttarakhand River Rafting / Kayaking Rules 2014 answers important questions about the activity permits:

1. Who can apply for a river rafting and / or kayaking permit?

A company, firm, institution, or person (Rule 2-f) can apply for a river rafting or kayaking permit for both commercial and non-commercial purposes. The permit is issued for a number of activities, including:

  • Kayaking / rafting expedition
  • Kayaking / rafting tour
  • Training
  • Competition
  • Reconnaissance
  • Search and rescue

2. Who issues kayaking and rafting permit?

The Rules 2014 entrusts two officers with the authority to issue the permit (Rule 2-g):

  1. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board or
  2. An officer authorized by the CEO


3. Who is a permit holder or operator?

A permit holder or operator (Rule 2-h) means the company, firm, or person who holds the permit issued according to the rules to organize kayaking and river rafting activities in Uttarakhand.

4. When is permit issued?

If the Technical Committee recommends, the new applicant shall get permit (Rule 7-1).

5. Are permits river specific?

Yes. A separate permit for each river shall be issued to new applicants. (Rule 7-3)

The existing permit holders shall apply for river-specific permits as per the Rules 2014. (Rule 7-3)

6. Is river carrying capacity a prerequisite for granting the permit?

Yes. The permit authority shall consider carrying capacity of a river before issuing the river-specific permit. (Rule 7-4)

If the permit requests exceed the carrying capacity of a river, the authority may select the applicants on the basis of an auction or a lottery. (Rule 7-6)

7. For how many days is permit issued?

According to the Rule 7-1,

  • Initially, the (new) permit is issued for one (1) year at a time.
  • The permit allows to run 2-5 rafts during the first two years.
  • After appraisal of the performance of the first two years, the permit shall be granted for five years if the operator is found fit.
  • Otherwise the Board shall inform about the reasons for rejecting an application.

8. What is the validity of existing permits?

The existing permits granted for more than five (5) rafts are valid until the permits are cancelled or rejected. Or, the permits expire. (Rule 7-2)


9. What is the maximum validity of the permits?

A permit is valid for maximum of five seasons or years. But it should be renewed every year. (Rule 7-5)

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