BENGALURU: At a time when the state government is promoting Karnataka’s adventure locations by encouraging tourists to “Script Your Adventure” in 2018, Sunday’s incident has come as a setback. On Sunday, a woman who was doing a high rope activity at a nature camp in the city outskirts, ended up with a broken vertebrae when the rope snapped.
According to those who frequently head out of the city seeking adventure, there remains a lot to be done in enforcement of safety rules. They say camp sites often flout safety regulations that are mandatory as per the Karnataka Tourism Policy Guidelines.
The injured woman Somya Jain Gupta’s husband Divyansh Gupta, who was with her at Nature Adventure Camp when the incident took place on Sunday, told The New Indian Express, “There were no medical facilities available at the camp. My wife was on the Burma Bridge when she wanted to stop midway. The rope which was being used to get her back snapped midway and since there was no netting, she fell on the ground. The larger camp sites always have safety measures. They make you sign forms and explain safety precautions. However, none of that was present in this camp.” Somya underwent a surgery on Tuesday and is likely to require several months to recover.
Kaushik Chatterjee, a resident of Old Airport Road who frequently goes on adventure trips, said, “There is no clarity on whether night treks are permitted at several hiking spots in the state. A search online shows night trekking is banned in several hills, but there are still advertisements on websites which say expert guides will take you to the top of hills like Savandurga or Skandagiri.
What should the tourists trust?”
According to government guidelines, alcohol must be strictly prohibited at least six hours before any of these activities. The camp site owners must obtain a valid first aid certificate; advertisements must depict dos and don’ts; and a medical doctor must be available on call, among other recommendations. However, these are rarely enforced. “Major firms who invest in infrastructure make it a point to have safety measures. But it is tough to check small camp sites which do not follow the guidelines listed in the tourism policy,” said the owner of a large adventure sports set up in Gokarna.
Things to keep in mind for a safe trip
Always look for reviews
For serious adventure sports, word of mouth is the best way to ensure safety
Read the terms and conditions of booking when planning your next holiday online
If you feel uncomfortable any time during the activity, do not hesitate to ask to be brought back to safety
Demand a briefing on security measures, do not believe a general ‘it is okay’ from the organisers
If you do not receive a proper response to your queries, maybe the organisers are not the right company for you