Thursday, 13 June 2013

Rivers in spate, water sports banned in Kullu

Himachal Vacation Travel News
MANALI: River rafting, river crossing, canoeing and all the water sports have been banned in Kullu. Given the rising water level in Beas, Parbati and other water streams of the district, administration has taken this decision for the safety of tourists.
White water river rafting in Kullu-Manali
River Beas, Parbati and their tributaries are in spate and following heavy rains on hills and valleys of the state. Also, the speed of melting of snow has doubled due to rise in temperature. Rivers, which are flowing above the normal water level, are posing threat to the tourists who are thronging river banks for various water sports.
“All water sports including white water river rafting and river crossing have been banned for the security of the tourists. The ban would continue to be imposed until water comes down to safe level,” district tourism development officer Minu Ram Dhiman told Himachal Vacation. He added that if somebody is found organizing any of the water sports, strict action would be taken against him.
Generally administration imposes ban on water sports and paragliding between July 15 and August 15 in rainy season when water streams and rivers come under flood. This time the heavy rain that is continuing since last 72 hours has created monsoon like situations. And administration had to take this hard decision in peak summer tourist season.
Over five thousand tourists were enjoying river rafting everyday at Pirdi and Babeli near Kullu. Not only the ban has disappointed thousands of tourists but also hit the employment of hundreds of youths here who were doing brisk business these days. Sources say a large number of tourists visit Kullu-Manali only for adventure sports like river rafting, paragliding, rock climbing, trekking and skiing.
According to sources, a raft had capsized after being caught into a big rapid near Kullu on Tuesday and all tourists were struggling for life the next moment. Although tourists were saved by the rafters but nobody dared to offer ride to other tourists.
Two tourists were killed when their raft overturned near Seobag village of Kullu on February 25, 2013. A 20-year-old youth from Delhi had lost his life in similar mishap on May 25, 2011. Payal Abdullah, wife of J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah, had a narrow escape when her raft overturned in Beas on June 25, 2011.

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