Wednesday, 3 July 2013

No more illegal paragliding in Manali

Himachal Vacation Travel News
MANALI: The unorganized and dangerous game of paragliding in Manali which was mostly being operated by Nepalese and youths from outside Himachal has came to an end with formation of paragliders association and strictness by tourism department on Tuesday.
Paragliding in Manali
After government put restriction on all adventure activities in Rohtang area, the most popular activity – paragliding -- remained shut for many days in Solang valley which has been resumed by the paragliding association on Tuesday with some strict terms and conditions. Tourism department had recently raided Marhi and Solang valley for illegal paragliding and challaned many paragliders. Most of the paragliders who fly along with tourists have no technical knowledge and have no license to fly. Many tourists sustained injuries due to bad take off and landing in past few years. Finally a screw has been tightened over illegal and unauthorized flying.
“All Nepali and other unauthorized pilots have been expelled. Nobody would be allowed to fly with tourists except for skilled and license holders from Wednesday,” founder of the association Roshan Lal said. He said countless paragliders were flying at all places of Manali without having proper technical knowledge which was leading to risk and inconvenience to tourists. “Now the number has been limited to about 100 and area of paragliding has also been marked.
Though a complete ban would be imposed on paragliding from July 15 due peak monsoon season, but the activity would continue till then. Paragliders have turned strict after government put ban on most of the activities on Rohtang area. Fearing government’s intervention, they chose to improve standards of paragliding themselves.
“Tourism department has allotted authorized licenses to some pilots. Still our association would check if the license holder has enough technical knowledge to fly or he should not be allowed to offer his services. Now all paragliders will have to register themselves with the paragliders association to be able to fly in Manali,” Ganga Thakur, another member of assocaiton, said.
Tourism assistant director Minu Ram Dhiman said they never had put ban on paraglding but just had challaned some unauthorized pilots who were flying at Marhi. “Marhi is not fit for flying. Solang valley has been identified for this purpose. We are always in favor of promotion of safe and eco friendly tourism. All paragliders are directed to fly in area identified for this purpose,” he said.

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