Now, a 12 year old boy can go rafting in Uttarakhand

DEHRADUN: In an attempt to promote adventure tourism in the hill state, the Uttarakhand government decided on Friday to reduce the minimum age allowed for rafting and do away with the upper age limit for both rafting and kayaking.

The state cabinet that met on Friday also finalized the structure of the proposal, announcing that a senior Hindu IAS officer would be its executive director (CEO). He also assured the pure successes (priests) of Char Dham that his rights remain intact.

In a significant decision, the government lowered the minimum permissible age for rafting from 14 years to 12 years. Earlier, the maximum permissible age was 65. Now, it has been done away with.

Similarly, for kayaking, the age limit was between 18 years and 50 years. Under the new rules, although the minimum age remains 18 years, the upper age limit has been removed.

The sources said the movement began considering the high potential of water and adventure games in the state. Rishikesh is an important adventure sports center in the state and the country, and the state government is contemplating opening more such destinations in the state of the mountains.

The state cabinet approved a proposal to appoint a senior IAS officer as CEO of the proposed Sanctuary Board of Char Dham. The only condition for the appointment is that the person must be Hindu.

Similarly, the minister who heads the department of cultural and religious affairs would be the vice president of the Board. It should also be Hindu. In case the minister of the department in question is not Hindu, the prime minister has been authorized to appoint a minister, who meets the criteria, for the position

While the cabinet decision says that a person or community that performs religious activities in Char Dham would be entitled to legitimate rights, the Sanctuary Board has been authorized to make changes.

The theme of the proposed Sanctuary Board has remained at the center of the controversy, as it has been opposed within and outside the assembly. The priests of Char Dham organized a march towards the CM residence and held a protest in front of the assembly building alleging that they had not been consulted by the government before making the decision to establish the board. Congress has extended support to priests and opposed the measure.

The cabinet recently approved the proposal of the Char Dham Shrine Board and a bill is expected to be presented to the House on Monday.

On Friday, the Cabinet also approved a 5% horizontal reserve for orphaned children residing in the home of the state shelter. The government also approved an Animal Insurance Plan, which offers better compensation for the owners.