With the weather not clearing up over the past few days, the party has not been able to launch its innovative campaign in tough hilly terrain, Congress spokesman Surendra Aggarwal told PTI. Chief Minister Harish Rawat was scheduled to flag off the flying machines from Congress office on April 9, but they are still parked outside the party office suffering the vagaries of Uttarakhand's precarious weather.
"Flying the paragliders in Uttarakhand's quickly changing weather is not easy. Often the visibility levels are low and there is also shortage of spots for safe landing in the hills which suffered extensive damage in last year's catastrophic deluge," Aggarwal said.
Though the innovative style of campaigning with party candidates paragliding to their voters would have made the entire exercise much more interesting, the life of candidates can't be risked in a weather like this, he said. The weather across Uttarakhand has been bad over the past few days with isolated showers in the plains and snowfall in the higher reaches.
The plan, however, has not yet been dropped with the weather likely to clear in the next couple of days, Aggarwal who is also the chief minister's media incharge said. Nearly half a dozen safe spots have also been identified in the hills for the landing of the flying machines which are to be operated by a six-member team of trained paragliders led by president of the Meghalaya Paragliding Association Nikloi Singh, Aggarwal said.
The gliders will fly from 27 locations till May 5. A paramotor glider can fly for over four hours a day at a speed of 40 km per hour, requiring 80 litre of petrol each day.