On the 12th of October, the Tamil Nadu government announced new rules for trekking in Tamil Nadu and regulations for going on trekking trips in the state’s forests. Kurangani forest fire accident in Theni had taken place earlier this year in March and had claimed 22 lives. Then these new rules were introduced as a result of the reports and findings of the incident.
The new rules were framed by the Department of Forests and Environment. They have established regulations such as fee for the trekkers from India and foreign countries on the basis of trekking difficulty. According to this new code, only the organizations registered with the forest department are allowed to commence for treks. It is also mentioned in which seasons the treks are banned during the year, what routes to take and the estimated time of treks. Here are the latest rules for trekking in Tamil Nadu below-
Classification of routes:
The trekking routes have been split into three levels – easy, moderate and tough – based on the terrain. There are differing fixed fees for these categories separately for locals and foreign citizens.
Native citizens have to pay ₹200 for an easy trek, ₹350 for a moderate trek and ₹500 for a tough trek. Foreign tourists will have to pay the amount of ₹1,500, ₹3,000 and ₹5,000 respectively.
Trek Level Domestic trekker
Tough Rs 500
A trekking group would consist of a minimum of five people. People who choose easy or moderate trekking routes will be led by a guide.
In the case of people choosing a tough trek, they will be accompanied by a forest department employee along the journey in addition to the guide.
The groups are also required to obtain permissions from the concerned officers in-charge before commencing on their trekking trip – they have to obtain prior permission from the district forest officer, wildlife warden in sanctuary area and from a deputy director in tiger reserves.
The government of Tamil Nadu has urged citizens to follow these rules and cooperate accordingly.