What safety measures authorities take for kayakers and rafters visiting Uttarakhand?

The Uttarakhand River Rafting / Kayaking Rules 2014 has a provision for a technical committee that takes various measures to ensure safety of the adventure travelers. Here are the bare bones of the committee:

Who constitutes the committee?

Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board (UTDB) constitutes a river rafting technical committee as specified in the Rule 11.

What is the size of the committee?

The committee consists of

  • A convener
  • 7 members

Who is the convener of the committee?

The convener shall meet three prerequisites:

  1. S/he shall be an officer of the board.
  2. The officer shall at least be joint director.
  3. The officer shall be nominated by the chief executive officer (CEO) of the board.

Who are 7 members of the committee?

The committee consists of representatives of forest, health, and tourism departments and adventure training institutes:

1) and 2) 2 kayaking and rafting experts who (a) have thorough technical knowledge of the activities and (b) are selected by the CEO

3) Deputy director of tourism

4) Director general of health or a medical officer chosen by her/him

5) District-specific adventure sports officer

6) Principal chief conservator of forest (PCCF) nominates a forest official: a district forest officer or another officer holding higher rank

7) Principal or a representative of the principal of Mountaineering and Skiing Institute of Indian Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) located in Auli

What are the functions of the committee?

According to the Rule 12, the committee performs the following functions:

  • Meets once every year. The meeting could also be held as and when the CEO directs.
  • Evaluates technical feasibility of the kayaking and rafting applications requesting new permits or renewal of the existing ones.
  • Reviews bio-data of kayaking and rafting guides and operators.
  • Conducts physical and activity-specific skill efficiency tests for the guides.
  • Tests first aid and river knowledge and safety and rescue skills of the guides.
  • Recommends issuing of an identity card valid for five years considering the experience of the individual guide.
  • Checks equipment, including kayaks and rafts as per the manufacturers’ specifications.
  • Assesses safety and rescue equipment and measures.
  • Tests rafting and rescue equipment and appraises skills of river guides in every third year for permit renewal.
  • Ensures that the kayaks and rafts bear registration numbers on the backside and the front side. The numbers shall be readable from a distance.
  • Searches, identifies, and tests suitability of the new river rafting stretches on the rivers flowing within the State.
  • Reviews carrying capacity of all the rivers once in five years.
  • Performs specific duties assigned by the Government of Uttarakhand or Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board.

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