River rafting in Kashmir and other related activities have been suspended by Kashmir authorities according to Times Travel. The decision was made by the government after several people were killed in rafting expeditions in Lidder stream in Pahalgam. Activities will resume once proper safety mechanisms are put in place.
Tourist Department insists on proper mechanisms for rafting
The Tourism Department of Kashmir released an order that read, “In the interest of administration and safety of tourists, it is hereby ordered that all rafting-related activities at all tourist destinations particularly at Pahalgam and Sonamarg shall remain suspended till a proper mechanism / technical guidance is put in place at all such locations.”
The tourism director has asked officers to ensure that the order is implemented in letter and spirit. Reports need to be sent to authorities to ensure compliance by everyone involved.
Several river rafting accidents in the past
Tourist guide Rouf Ahmad Dar lost his life on June 1 while saving five tourists during a rafting expedition in the stream.
Another accident on June 18 took the lives of two people including a tourism department employee. The raft overturned, killed two people and injured eight others. Ironically, the accident took place during a rafting championship organized in honour of Rouf Ahmad Dar. He was the tour guide who lost his life while saving five tourists in Lidder stream.
Pahalgam continues to remain a popular tourist attraction
Water sports in Pahalgam have always been popular among tourists. Even though rafting activities have been suspended, there are a lot of other things to do in Pahalgam. The region is famous for its majestic mountains and breath-taking scenery. Hiking, fishing, adventure sports, sigh-seeing are activities available for tourists to enjoy during their time in Pahalgam. Places around Pahalgam like Betaab Valley, Aru Valley, Baisaran, Chandanwari, Sheshnag Lake are beautiful locations to visit.