The death of Sandeep Chaudhry on Sunday has triggered the argument over revellers’ safety and brought a bad name to the Tourism Department. Chaudhry died because of the alleged negligence of the pilot, who failed to tighten the safety harness and body belts, which went loose in the air. The police have booked the pilot under Sections 336 and 304-A of the IPC for negligence.
It was found that most pilots involved in such accidents lacked experience and had incomplete documents. Many pilots lack dual insurance cover, which has been made mandatory by the state government. The failure of state agencies to check their documents and equipment has made the matters worse. Even the gliders being used by the pilots did not qualify the safety standards.
Baijnath SDM Salem Aazam and District Tourism Officer PP Singh held a meeting with the stakeholders today. It was decided to enforce the international SOPs for paragliding. Inexperienced pilots would not be allowed to fly solo or undertake tandem flights. Both the officers also sought the cooperation of paragliding associations functional at Bir Billing. The state government was also considering imposing a complete ban on paragliding in Bir Billing, keeping in view the rising mishaps, they stated.