NAINITAL: After banning white water rafting in Uttarakhand in June, the high court reopened the sport under strict guidelines on Wednesday. Modifying its earlier order, a division bench of the high court comprising Acting Chief Justice Rajiv Sharma and Lokpal Singh said white water rafting is permitted in the state strictly as per the Uttarakhand River Rafting and Kayaking Rules, 2014.
The court modified its own order after the Army filed an application in the court saying they had to undertake river rafting as a standard procedure. The Army is permitted to undertake white river rafting after taking all the precautions, the court said.
The state government is directed to issue necessary no objection certificate (NOC) within a period of three days to the applicant.
Earlier, hearing a public interest litigation alleging issue of illegal leases in favour of private parties for rafting in the river bed of the Ganga, the high court had directed the state government to take a policy decision.
It was contended in the PIL that temporary structures are permitted to be set up on the banks of the Ganga river and rafting is carried out by private entrepreneurs without any legal sanction.
The court had directed that until a policy is framed, no white river rafting, paragliding and other water sports shall be permitted in Uttarakhand.
However, an application was filed by Army personnel in the court that they had to undertake rafting as per their standard procedure.
Subsequently, the state government also placed before the court 'Uttarakhand River Rafting/Kayaking Rules, 2014. These rules were duly notified on January 24, 2014. Keeping this in mind, the court modified its previous order.