The Uttarakhand High Court has banned paragliding, white water rafting, and other water sports in the state until the administration frames a policy to regulate them, the Hindustan Times reported on Thursday. The move is aimed at safeguarding the environment and those engaging in these activities.

A division bench of Justices Rajiv Sharma and Lok Pal Singh ordered the ban on Monday in response to a public interest litigation filed by Rishikesh-based social activist Hari Om Kashyap. He alleged that temporary structures were being set up on the banks of the Ganga, sewage was being permitted to flow into the river, and rafting was being carried out by private entrepreneurs in violation of several norms.

“The state government is directed to prepare the transparent policy within a period of two weeks,” the High Court order said. “Till the policy is framed, no white river rafting, paragliding and other water sports shall be permitted in the state of Uttarakhand.”

Taking note of deaths during white water rafting, the court said it should only be permitted by highly trained professionals, reported The Times of India. The court also said “sports for pleasure cannot be permitted to end in disaster”, and added that the state government cannot permit the use of rivers without fixing reasonable charges and inviting bids in a transparent procedure.

“We are shocked to know that the state government is permitting camping sites on river beds,” the court said. “It pollutes the environment and ecology of the river and the surrounding areas.”