SRINAGAR, Jammu and Kashmir, India – Kashmir Rafting Operators’ Association (KROA) today said the ban on rafting by Tourism department has left tourists crestfallen while putting the travel agents to heavy business loss.
The association said the travel operators have sold the packages to the tourists “and at this movement when the department has put ban on this activity, our clients or either cancelling their trips or demanding compensation from us.”
“Those who visit complain about not enjoying the adventure activity,” it said.
“The tour operators offering this activity to the tourists have spent huge amount of money in publicizing rafting in other parts of the country,” they said.
To mention, the department stopped the rafting activity at Pahalgam following the accidental death of a tourist at Pahalgam on Mamal Nunwan during rafting.
The association alleged that the rafting was undertaken at restricted stretch in the Lidder stream by some unscrupulous operators who were disobeyed the orders of the Tourism Department.
The association suggested that only the operators which were not obeying the government orders needed to be stopped from conducting the rafting activity.
“KROA has been operating this segment of adventure tourism successfully for last many years from Warganpal to Yennar stretch with all required rescue measures in place. The KROA has always extended its logistic support to tourism department for arguing different rafting championships and awareness programs in the recent past,” it said.
“The association has several times helped the local police in rescuing victims during floods and accidents,” it said.
The association conducted a meeting to discuss the issue. On the conclusion of the meeting the association, the statement said, decided to meet DTK and press for proper regulation.
The members suggested that the government should permit the genuine and technically fit agencies to form a society under which they run their business efficiently.