Focus on safety norms after Delhi tourist hurt while paragliding in Nainital
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Focus on safety norms after Delhi tourist hurt while paragliding in Nainital

A tourist from Delhi was injured in an accident while he was paragliding at Naukuchiyatal village near Bhimtal town in Uttarakhand’s Nainital district, police said on Tuesday.

dehradun Updated: Mar 13, 2018 22:22 IST
Abhinav Madhwal
Abhinav Madhwal
Hindustan Times
Uttarakhand,Paragliding,Delhi tourist hurt
Paragliding has become a favourite sport among tourists visiting Nainital district in Uttarakhand.(HT File Photo)

A tourist from Delhi was injured in an accident while he was paragliding at Naukuchiyatal village near Bhimtal town in Uttarakhand’s Nainital district, police said on Tuesday.

The pilot of the paraglider also sustained minor injuries in the accident that happened on Monday, bringing to fore safety concerns in the adventurous sport. The tourist, Raj (known by his first name), who sustained fractures, was taken to Delhi, police said.

All paragliding operators have been asked to ensure safety norms, Nainital district magistrate Deependra Chaudhary said. “We will take action if any violation is brought to our notice,” he said.

Paragliding is a sport in which a wide canopy resembling a parachute is attached to a person’s body by a harness to allow him to glide through the air after jumping from a height. Tourists have been trying their hands in paragliding in Bhimtal region for the past 12 years.

On Monday, the paraglider could not land at the designated spot because of wind speed and hit a house, injuring the tourist, said Mahesh Rawat of Pandey Gaon, a village near the accident spot.

“There should be more regard for safety norms, and the pilots must know wind pressure and conditions accurately before beginning the flight,” he said.

Nitesh Bisht of the Bhimtal Adventure Club, which conducts paragliding, said all norms were followed. “Parachutes are changed every year for safety of the tourists. The pilots are brought from Manali as they have more experience in the field,” Bisht said.

Paragliding has become an important business in Nainital considering the tourists’ interest in the sport. “There are 9 paragliding companies in Naukuchiyatal, Bhimtal, Ghodakhal and khutani that give employment to 150 youths. It is not correct to say the whole industry is not following safety norms,” said Bisht.

“We have to take clearances from forest and many other departments to get paragliding permits; all companies have valid documents.”

Tourists are strapped to a parachute, called paraglider, that has the presence of a pilot for support and guidance. They touch the ground after flying an aerial distance of 1 km from a high point. Paragliding operators charge Rs 1000-1500 per person in Bhimtal.

First Published: Mar 13, 2018 20:55 IST