Revealing this to DT Next, Collector MP Sivan Arul said, “the team’s visit is a follow up to a meeting the International Professional Paraglider Pilots Association held with me on Friday, wherein they requested that the hills be allowed to operate professional paragliders in a bid to attract new entrants to the spot.”
Paragliding started in the hills in 2009 when the first paragliding festival attracted 40 participants from all over the globe, the numbers going up to 60 the following year when an accident resulted in the sport coming to a stop.
The visiting team members told the Collector that Yelagiri hills was the first to start professional paraglider sports in the country, but that other locales specially Pune capitalised on it when the sport hit a stop in the hills.
Sivan Arul said a prerequisite to the chosen spot was that if be free of overhead power lines. As Jalagamparai was the only spot which met this criterion, the team had been asked to visit the spot.
“Also clearance has to be provided by the forest department as the location is in the midst of a forested area. If and when permission is granted, then we have to ensure stringently the visitors do not litter,” he added.
Officials said that once the team submitted a report, then the Collector would interact with the concerned authorities in a bid to make the hills a site where professional licenses could be attained after being trained by professional paragliding pilots.
“After Tirupattur district was formed, only an exotic sport like paragliding can place it on the international map as otherwise there is not much to attract tourists here,” officials averred.
With this in view, work is on to spruce up the lake, telescope site and the golf course through the Pilgrimage Rejuvenation And Spirituality Augmentation Drive (PRASAD), which will provide various facilities to cater both to tourists and pilgrims.