The Telegraph
Sunday , January 12 , 2014
CIMA Gallary

Kiss the sky, but for a day
- Tourism directive forces adventure foundation to call off parasailing

Jamshedpur, Jan. 11: Parasailing took off to a flying start at Sonari aerodrome this morning with 40 thrill junkies taking part in the adrenaline-pumping activity, but organisers Tata Steel Adventure Foundation (TSAF) had to call off the five-day event in view of a state government ban on aero-sports that came into effect later in the evening.

East Singhbhum deputy commissioner Amitabh Kaushal said he had spoken to state tourism department officials, adding that the directive to ban aero-sports until such time a regulator was in place would be complied with from tomorrow.

TSAF manager Hemant Gupta said that the event had been cancelled in view of the state government order. “SDO Prem Ranjan informed Bachendri Pal, chief, adventure programmes, Tata Steel, about the order after which we have decided to cancel parasailing for the remaining four days,” he said.

The 5-day parasailing event had generated tremendous response in the steel city with more than 200 registered participants. So much so that that tomorrow being Sunday, TSAF had decided to accommodate 45 enthusiasts, five more than what they had initially decided on. Unfortunately, the event had to be cancelled.

Today, people from all walks of life gathered near the Sonari airstrip, waiting for their turn to fly. “I feel thrilled to be here. I did this in November as well,” said Sandeep Kumar Das, a Sakchi businessman.

Pawan Kumar (28) was equally excited. “I love flying high and parasailing gives me the opportunity to do so. I am thankful to TSAF for providing me with this chance,” said the Jugsalai resident.

Sonari homemaker Shanti Prajapati, a first-timer, said she was scared of heights but had come because of her husband. “My husband encouraged me and I had to give in. I enjoyed my half-an-hour flight,” the 37-year-old added.

The stints at 200ft above the ground were conducted between 8am and 5pm.

However, the exercise was discontinued for about an hour in the afternoon due to chief minister Hemant Soren’s scheduled departure from the aerodrome.