Pune: Despite three deaths that took place due to adventure sports in different parts of Maharashtra, the State government seems to be reluctant to approve the Government Resolution (GR) made for adventure sports.
According to Rajendra Pawar, Secretary of Sports Ministry, he has signed the GR and forwarded it to the Sports Minister, but the discussion is yet to take place before it is approved.
Recently, there have been three deaths in Lonavla, Devkund and Chincholi due to water and adventure sports.
Umesh Zirpe, member of the State government’s expert committee and Giripremi’s expedition leader, said, “The State government had released a GR in 2014 after the Bombay High Court’s order, which asked the government to come up with a policy that would focus on rules and regulation to be followed by trekking agencies, trekkers and mountaineers. The court order came after a plea by the parents of a young trekker, who died of a respiratory disorder during a Himalayan expedition. However, there was no such policy earlier made by the State government.”
Zirpe further said, “The GR did not mention any clear-cut instruction. So the government had then formed an expert committee of eight members in which we had revised several points including safety and security measures. In 2015, we started revising the Government Resolution (GR) and we had submitted it to the Sports Ministry in mid-2017. From that time, it has not been approved yet even after several deaths. Also, before releasing the GR, there was a confusion between the Sports and Adventure Ministry on making the GR. But now finally Sports Ministry will be releasing it.”
Prasanna Joshi, Vice President of Girivihar Adventure Club of Mumbai and one of the expert committee members, said, “The GR focuses on safety-oriented measures to be taken prominently by the adventure sports organisations. This is the main season where thousands of people go for trekking and for adventure sporting through trekking organisations. But many die out of negligence made by the organisation itself. The aim of this GR is not to close any trekking organisation but that the trekking companies should be registered and follow all the safety rules and regulations while taking people for trekking or for any adventure sports.”
Zirpe and Joshi said that they had given the revised Government Resolution (GR) to the Secretary of Sports Ministry but they have not finalised it yet and that they are told that one more discussion will take place.
However, Pawar said, “I have signed the GR and forwarded it to the Sports Minister. There will be one more round of discussion and then the GR will be approved. I do not know how much time will be taken for the discussion and for the approval.”