Tuesday, August 20, 2019
facebook
Himachal

Posted at: Jul 19, 2019, 8:07 AM; last updated: Jul 19, 2019, 8:07 AM (IST)

Illegal commercial sprawl threat to flyers at Bir-Billing

Illegal commercial sprawl  threat to flyers at Bir-Billing

Ravinder Sood

Palampur, July 18

Bir-Billing, which figures among the top 10 paragliding sites in the world, is turning into a slum because of illegal constructions.

In the absence of any check from the Town and Country Planning Department, unplanned commercial activities have reduced the open area in the hill resort, posing threat to the security of flyers.

A large number of buildings have come up in violation of rules in the valley.

There has been a manifold increase in number of tourists visiting the area in the past few years because of paragliding activities. Hundreds of tourists visit daily.

On an average, Bir-Billing witnesses around 20,000 tandem flights per month. Tandem flight involves a ride along with a paragliding pilot. Besides, the area also sees above 10,000 solo flights every month. The hill station has become the first choice for domestic and foreign tourists.

The sudden increase in the number of tourists has triggered large-scale construction of hotels, shops and restaurants. Hardly any open area is left for fliers for safe landing and taking off.

Most of the fliers, while talking to The Tribune, said if timely action was not taken, no place would be left for landing as fliers would not take any risk to land in the congested areas.

From Bir to Chogan, a dozen of new hotels, guest houses and restaurants have come up. It appears that no authority exist here to regulate the construction activities. In SADA, new buildings cannot be constructed unless its site plans are approved.

Earlier, SDM, Baijnath, had fined Rs76,000 in one case and also ordered the demolition of building. However, the affected party filed an appeal in the High Court. Interestingly, the High Court has not granted the stay, the building is yet to be demolished.

Open area being narrowed

  • A large number of buildings have come up in violation of rules in the valley
  • There has been a manifold increase in number of tourists visiting the area because of paragliding activities
  • The sudden increase in the number of tourists has triggered large-scale construction of hotels, shops and restaurants
  •  
  • Hardly, any open area is left for fliers for safe landing and taking off

COMMENTS

All readers are invited to post comments responsibly. Any messages with foul language or inciting hatred will be deleted. Comments with all capital letters will also be deleted. Readers are encouraged to flag the comments they feel are inappropriate.
The views expressed in the Comments section are of the individuals writing the post. The Tribune does not endorse or support the views in these posts in any manner.
Share On