Regulate adventure sports strictly: Experts

He also suggested that the tourism department should implement a licensing system that certifies only professional firms to conduct adventure activities.
Image used for representational purpose only.
Image used for representational purpose only.

BENGALURU: In the wake of a 35-year-old nurse falling to her death while ziplining in Ramanagara on Sunday, experts have voiced concerns about safety oversight at resorts and urged the state government to regulate adventure sports strictly by emphasising the importance of regular safety inspections.

An adventure buff noted that developing and enforcing specific regulations for such activities, including safety standards, equipment requirements and staff training, is crucial. “A licensing system for resorts offering adventure sports, coupled with mandatory certification for operators and staff, should be introduced. Regular safety inspections of resorts and adventure sports facilities are necessary to ensure compliance with these regulations.”

He also suggested that the tourism department should implement a licensing system that certifies only professional firms to conduct adventure activities.

Explaining the risks, Dr Anantha Padmanabha, Senior Consultant in Internal Medicine at Fortis Hospital, said ziplining incidents often stem from equipment failure, user error during braking, or collisions with stationary objects on the line, causing cuts, scrapes and dislocations. Beyond physical injuries, there is a psychological aspect - the abrupt stop after a high-speed descent can induce a stress response akin to shock, leading to symptoms like dizziness, nausea and breathing difficulties, potentially increasing the risk of falling, Dr Padmanabha added.

Speaking to TNIE, a senior police officer highlighted that activities such as ziplining, bungee jumping and stand-up paddling are promoted more at places like resorts and during summer camps to attract more customers. But there is insufficient information about these activities, including equipment requirements, weight limits, proper positioning during execution and lack of regulatory oversight. “The tourism department should assess such places and audit the adventure equipment periodically to ensure that they are maintained well.”

During these activities, especially for first-time participants, the tendency to support themselves by shifting their bodyweight to one side out of fear can lead to major injuries, which could be fatal, he added.

The senior official questioned the lack of cable maintenance which claimed the life of the nurse in the recent incident, and said government regulation is crucial to ensure that these activities are supervised by trained professionals who can provide proper guidance.

Kavitha Reddy, a mountaineer, took to X following the incident, posting: “For many years we from Adventure Community in Karnataka has been suggesting @KarnatakaWorld (Karnataka Tourism official page) to set up an Expert

Committee to assess and give feasibility report before the permission is given to organizations/resorts/clubs to conduct adventure activities. If Adventure activities have to be safer focus has to be on Quality, Training, SOP. Looking forward to make a request to Hon Minister @HKPatilINC (HK Patil - Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Legislation and Tourism)in this regard and make Adventure activities in Karnataka safer (sic).”

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