Defense Ministry issues NOC to Kashmir Heli-Skiing
Srinagar, Feb 6: After holding it out for around 40 days, Ministry of Defence (MoD) on Wednesday finally granted No Objection Certificate (NOC) for the operation of third season Kashmir Heli Skiing at Gulmarg.
The Kashmir Heli Skiing run by local well known extreme skier and guide Billa Majeed Bakshi were all set to start their third year of operation in Gulmarg in first week of January. However, their plans were hampered by the delay in getting required NOC from the Ministry of Defense (MoD). The organisers were expecting NOC till January first week but have been granted that only on Wednesday with almost 40 days of delay.
Confirming this Billa, said, “Better late than never. The MoD finally gave us NOC on and we will be starting our daily operation very soon”.
“Though we got the NOC , we are yet to get another clearance which will allow our chopper to land on snow and do skiing. They have asked for some modifications in the chopper which we will carry out in couple of days. It is difficult effect last minute adjustments in the machine but as the time is very little we have to do it,” he said.
Billa says that due to delay in NOC his company has already suffered huge financial losses and also earned bad reputation for the whole Kashmir Heli-Skiing.
“We have been working hard to lure high end (luxury class) extreme skiers to the Gulmarg. We were successful in our efforts due to our quality service during last two years. This year we had around 1700 advance booking for the whole season which is almost double than last year. But delay in NOC has belittled everything as we were not able to run single flight during this period.”
Launched in 2011 at Gulmarg by the JK Government, Heli-Skiing run by Billa has become hit all over the world and has attracted some of the well known extreme skiers and personalities.
Apart from making the virgin turfs of different sections of Pir Panjal mountain range accessible, the skiers are also able to get access to those peaks and slopes which were out of bounds for the adventure sports lovers.
Pertinently it was Sylvain Sudan in late 70’s who started Heli-Skiing in the Valley and later came to be known as pioneer of extreme skiing. Sudan had already earned a name - ‘skier of the impossible’ for his dare-devil skiing feats in Alps and other peaks in Europe and Asia.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 6 Feb 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 6 Feb 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 7 Feb 2013 00:00:00 IST
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