Shimla, January 19
Taking serious note of a 12-year-old boy’s death at a paragliding site in the state, the HP High Court has constituted a team, under the chairmanship of the Secretary, District Legal Service Authority (DLSA), to inspect the sites and verify all permits and permissions required for the registration of adventure sports.
A division bench, comprising Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan and Justice Satyen Vaidya, passed this order on a PIL registered by the court on the basis of an article which appeared in a newspaper.
The article highlighted the grief of the parents of 12-year-old Advik, who came from Bengaluru along with his parents and younger sister to visit Himachal Pradesh. On December 22, the family, along with another family, reached the para-gliding site around 1:30 pm.
The jeep being used was allegedly without safety accessories. As against the seating capacity of five passengers, nine passengers occupied the roofless back portion of the jeep. The driver and four para-gliding pilots, who were picked up on the way, sat at the front in the enclosed space. A collision with a two-wheeler made the driver lose control of the vehicle. As a result, the jeep tumbled into a 15-feet gorge. While everyone received grievous injuries, Advik’s head hit a rock and he died.
The court also included Director, Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports, Manali; SDMs and DySPs of all areas where adventure sports activities are carried out as members of the committee. Apart from them, Executive Engineer, HPPWD; president, Water Sports Association, and Deputy Director, Tourism and Civil Aviation, or his/her representative, as members of the committee.
The court further directed the committee to verify the documents, including registration and licence of the operators and period of validity, details of all guides and instructors, including copies of certifications and record of their experience, copies of all permits and permissions for the proposed adventure sports registration and copies of identification documents, insurance cover etc.