ISLAMABAD  - Boating in the Rawal Lake has become the most popular recreational activity for the visitors of Lake View Park, but it is a risky affair in the absence of safety measures.

The Lake View Park is the only venue in the Federal Capital where people can enjoy boating. "We are here for boating, but I will not allow my children to have a boat ride without safety gadgets," said Mazhar Chattha, who had come to the park with his family on Thursday.

"We often come here just for boating. There are many parks in the city, but boating makes the Lake View Park special," said Nazir, a visitor.

The boatmen charge Rs 300 for a short trip and Rs 500 for a long trip in the lake.

People from different areas of the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad visit the park, particularly at weekends, to enjoy their free time.

"The Lake View Park is really a place to enjoy.  After a hectic day, I rush to the park, where I get refreshed after spending only a few moments," said Muhammad Atif, a visitor. However, boating in the lake is risky as no lifeguards have been deputed, he complained.

Many visitors demanded the Capital Development Authority to delpoy well-trained lifeguards on permanent basis. They claimed many people had drowned in the lake due to the absence of lifeguards and safety equipment.

Instead of banning boating, the authorities concerned should adopt safety measures, they added.

A senior official of the Rawal Lake View Park said the authorities would regulate the boating activities in future and proper safety measures would be ensured.