ALAPPUZHA: Alappuzha tourism is set to get a boost with the launch of motorised para-gliding soon. The tourism department and the district tourism promotion council have made all arrangements for the gliding which will be held daily if the climate is favourable. DTPC secretary M. Malin said that Rs 3,000 will be charged for 15 minutes' flying for one person, Rs 5,000 for 30-minute flying, including photography, Rs 8,000 for flying one hour with photography and Rs 10,000 for 30- minute special night flying with photography.
The DTPC and Meghalaya Para Gliding Association have jointly organised it. Initially, the flying is scheduled from 6.30 a.m. to 10 a.m. and later it will be arranged in the evening and at night. The flying strip is near Kommadi bypass. A glider run with motor is used for gliding which will enable the tourists to enjoy the beauty of various beaches, including Alappuzha, Mararikulam, Chethi, Punnapara and Ambalappuzha, Punnamada lake, paddyfields of Kuttanad and other attractions of Alappuzha.
Captain Nikolai Singh, president of Meghalaya Adventure Sports Association, is the captain of the glider which has a capacity to fly for three hours and carry 350 kg. It can also fly above 15,000 feet. The Navy has permitted flying at an altitude of 500 feet from the sea level from Alappuzha beach to Mararikulam beach on the north side, up to Kuttanad on the east side and up to Ambalappuzha on the south side. Modern safety equipment will be used for flying with the inclusion of twin engine and twin parachute. "Only one passenger weighing less than 100 kg will be allowed to fly along with the captain," Mr Malin said.