A local regulation came into effect on Jan 1 stipulating that those who illegally enter prohibited parts of the Mount Huangshan scenic area will have to pay the costs if they fall into difficulties and need rescuing. Hebnews.cn comments:
It is customary when people get into difficulties hiking or mountaineering for local governments to organize rescue teams. That has been the case even when they have illegally entered areas that are out of bounds.
However, rescue missions can be costly, and not only in terms of money.
In 2010, when trying to rescue 18 students who got into trouble exploring an off-limits area in the Mount Huangshan, the local police had to organize a big team, and one policeman died during the search and rescue operation.
In other words, those who illegally enter forbidden areas and get into trouble not only require taxpayers' money to extricate themselves from their predicaments, they also pose a risk to others. It is unfair for taxpayers to pay to help them escape the consequences of their illegal behavior. It is even more outrageous that people should pay with their lives trying to help them.
Of course, we do not mean local governments should not help those who put themselves and others at risk in this way. However, according to the National Tourism Law, those who request rescuing should pay the costs. That clause has seldom been implemented due to the lack of detailed measures. The regulation introduced by the Mount Huangshan Scenic Site administration marks a good start by making clear the standards and conditions in which people will have to pay when rescued, and we hope more scenic spot management authorities will follow suit.