SUBJECT : The state tourism department is going to provide training to local youth in all 13 districts of the state in adventure activities such as rafting, paragliding etc to increase their employability and enhance the tourism potential.

Dehradun, November 27, 2017: The state tourism department is going to provide training to local youth in all 13 districts of the state in adventure activities such as rafting, paragliding etc to increase their employability and enhance the tourism potential. A panel of experts has been prepared to take over each district. The move has been taken to facilitate manpower for large number of new destinations which are being opened for aero sports, water sports and other adventure activities in the state for promotion of tourism.

According to Poonam Chand, joint director of Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board said, "With the help of experts, tourism department has conducted a survey and identified locations in different districts like Pratap Nagar, Munsiyari, Pithoragarh, Kotkhal, Dyara Bugyal, Chopta and Tungnath which will be developed for aero sports."

She said, similarly various other rivers like Kali, Sharda, Saryu, Tons, Kosi, Bhagirathi,Yamuna, Gori, Pinder and Ramaganga West and East has been identified to promote water sports such as rafting, kayaking, canoeing etc by holding at least one big event on each of this river every year. This would also reduce tourism pressure on Ganga river in Rishikesh. She said, that once tourism picked up from these destinations, they would need manpower to cater to the tourists so the army of these local youngsters is being prepared to meet the requirement.

Shankar Singh, secretary of Paragliding Association of India said, "There are few handful people who are organising aero sports, mainly paragliding and hand gliding in the state that needs to be propagated at large scale. The trained youth will also be able to start their own tourism venture with the financial assistance provided under various state government."

On the issue of starting water sports on other rivers other than Ganga in Rishikesh, Manoj Rawat MLA Kedarnath, secretary of Uttarakhand Rafting,Kayaking and Canoeing Association said, "Our association has already taken lead in holding water sports in rivers falling in Kedarnath and Rudraprayag valley, such as Mandakini, Alaknanda and Madhu Ganga rivers. But the state government will certainly make a big mark by starting adventure sports across the state. The boom in adventure tourism will definitely arrest migration from the hills."

Head of Rishikesh based rafting company, Yusuf Zaheer said, "Tons, Kali and Yamuna rivers are excellent for rafting. Rather rafting over Tons river is quite challenging which only veteran rafters can experience. The only hurdle is the difficulty in accessing the rafting points over these rivers due to lack of proper road and rail network while it is much easier in case of Ganga in Rishikesh. There are rafting points in Kumon, such as in Pithoragarh, Jhulaghat, Pancheshwar but the access is restricted. The state government is required to put better infrastructure in place and then promote these destinations with the involvement of local rafters, then these rivers too can become as popular as Ganges."


Source: Times of India