PM denied of paragliding thrill

Lalitpur, January 6:

Paragliding opened in Kathmandu Valley today, but a sudden change in the airflow threw cold waters on Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s determination to give the adventure sport a flying start.

If all had gone well, the PM was prepared for his maiden and inaugural flight from Kot Danda at Bishankhu Narayan VDC, 16km south of the capital city. Deputy PM Bam Dev Gautam, Tourism Minister Hisila Yami and Maoist Constituent Assembly Member Barsha Man Pun were also to paraglide along side from a high of 700 metres above the sea level.

Thousands of locals had arrived at the site to see the ‘big shots’ flying to their thrill. After the formal programme of more than one hour, the organisers, Kathmandu Paragliding and Hanggliding Company Pvt Ltd, escorted the PM and other personalities to the flying zone.

The pilots were looking at the sky time and again in search of favourable airflow and after about 45 minutes of desperate wait, the PM along with others left the area and the show was over. Before the PM’s turn, four pilots flew and three of them landed safely, while the other one had an awkward landing some few metres away from the spot.

Even as he could not fly, Dahal took the stage to assure both locals and the organisers to declare Kot Dada as the Paragliding Area. PM also promised to black top the road so that the business could flourish in the area. “We have natural resources of our own and I think we can do a lot by utilising these resources,” he said. “We can create so many opportunities. What we need is the new national committment,” he said.

Gautam said paragliding could generate employment for the thousands of youths while Shakya pledged to include adventure events in the Sports Policy. Keshav Sthapit, President of the Kathmandu Paragliding and Hanggliding Company, urged the government to create friendly environment so that potential investors can invest and expand the sport to different parts of the country.

President of Nepal Paragliding and Hanggliding Association Rup Narayan Shrestha demanded the government to make necessary arrangements to provide licence to the pilots.