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State to put safety first for adventure sports

Makes registration mandatory for groups and individuals organising such activities, those below 16 years of age will not be allowed to take part in high-altitude events

Acting on directives by the Bombay High Court, which was hearing a PIL filed by parents of a young trekker who had lost his life in the Himalayas due to a breathing problem, the state government has made it mandatory for all institutes and individuals engaged in organising adventure sports activities to be registered with it.

Non-compliance of the order, which was issued yesterday, will invite action under the Indian Penal Code, Bombay Police Act and Consumer Protection Act. Representation picNon-compliance of the order, which was issued yesterday, will invite action under the Indian Penal Code, Bombay Police Act and Consumer Protection Act. Representation pic

The activities include trekking, mountaineering, skiing, parasailing and water sports, among others. Non-compliance of the order, which was issued yesterday, will invite action under the Indian Penal Code, Bombay Police Act and Consumer Protection Act.

The order also makes it mandatory for the organisers to ask participants to get medical fitness certificates for activities held above an altitude of 3,000 metres. And, in what will be a dampener for young adventure enthusiasts, it states that those below 16 years of age will not be allowed to take part in such activities.

Twin overseers
Two authorities are being set up to register and oversee the activities of organisers. Individuals and institutions will have to get themselves registered with a district-level committee headed by the district sports officer, and an apex committee will be set up under the State Commissioner for sports to monitor activities across the state and draft rules and regulations for them.

This eight-member body will also have the joint director of MTDC, along with six people with expertise in adventure sports and their organisation.The qualify for registration, the person leading the institution or group should have a certificate issued by a recognised training institute.

A list of such institutes has also been prescribed by the state. The district-level committee will review the security/precautionary measures available with the institutions or individuals engaged in adventure sports.

The group leader, who organises the camps, should be a certified first-aid provider and is expected to give a list of all the participants along with their addresses, whom to contact in case of emergencies and medicines required during the events. Institutions or individuals can get themselves registered after paying a fee or Rs 1,000 within three months of the order.

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