Himachal Pradesh is all set to host the first ever paragliding world cup in India, which is being held between 23 to 31 October this year at Bir Billing in Kangra valley.Urban Development Minister Sudhir Sharma, who is also President of the Billing Paragliding Association (BPA), today presided over the meeting of Tourism and other concerned departments to review the preparations for the world cup which was also attended by the members of the BPA.
He said steps were afoot to develop infrastructure of international standard for the championship. The work on developing take-off sites was almost in final stage and the Public Works Department had been directed to repair and maintain the roads leading to the paragliding sites besides installing street lights.
The Minister said paragliders from over 50 countries were expected to participate in the championship as 47 countries had already confirmed their participation in the event. The event would go a long way in promoting sports and tourism in the state. He said a national championship would also be organized after the main event in the month of November.
He said that after hosting Paragliding Pre-World Cup successfully, the Paragliding World Cup Association, France had given opportunity to the State to host world championship He said it was a great achievement for the hill state to host the first ever paragliding world cup in the country. The state had already organised paragliding pre-world cups thrice and in year 2013, it made a bid for organising the world cup.He said this event would boost the sports and tourism activities in the state as international participants, pilots and others would visit the majestic Kangra valley during this championship.Shri Sudhir Sharma said that different kinds of activities would be organised to add attraction to the competition including acrow show and hot ballooning etc. He said that live trekking system facility would be introduced during the event to ensure safety of the pilots and it would also help in rescue operations in case of any emergency.He also directed to ban construction activities near the take off and landing sites. He said that matter would also be taken up with the concerned authorities to declare Mandi to Shahpur as non flying zone.Director Tourism Shri Mohan Chauhan and other senior officers of various departments were present in the meeting.