Assam: One person dead in paragliding accident at Tinsukia resort

A 35-year-old man died hours after falling from a paraglider at Skyland resort in Assam’s Tinsukia district on Wednesday.

Talking to EastMojo, Tinsukia police superintendent Debojit Deori said, “We have received a report of an accident at Skyland Resort in which a person has died during paragliding. The incident is being looked into seriously and all angles shall be investigated.”

The deceased has been identified as Pankaj Gogoi, 35, a resident of Lakhimpur district.

The development comes amid allegations of illegal functioning of a resort inside the eco-sensitive zone of Dibru Saikhowa National Park, following which the deputy commission of Tinsukia Narsing Pawar had ordered an inquiry.

Tinsukia additional deputy commissioner Dipu Deka, who is heading this inquiry, told TNL that officials from various departments visited the Skyland Resort a few days ago him to conduct the inquiry, as directed by the DC.

“The owners informed us about all the types of activities being conducted at that resort. However, they never told us about paragliding,” Deka said.

“I am yet to examine the observation and findings from various departments, and will soon submit my report to the deputy commissioner,” added Deka.

The resort was opened in 2020 without an NOC from authorities concerned, following which EastMojo had done a detailed in-depth news report on February 14, 2020.

Divisional forest officer of Wildlife, Tinsukia, K.K. Deori, who is also a member of the inquiry committee, said, “There is no question of any permission or NOC by the forest department as this falls under the domain of the committee headed by Upper Assam commissioner, normally represented by deputy commissioner, of which I am a member secretary.”

“During the inquiry, I did not find any unregulated activities being undertaken at the resort,” he added. He said the owners of the resort could not produce an NOC obtained from the committee, which is required to operate any commercial activity of this sort inside an eco-sensitive zone of a national park.

EastMojo accessed a letter dated January 10, 2020, written by the office of the deputy commissioner of Tinsukia to DFO, Wildlife, Tinsukia, requesting it to look into the petition by Sanjay Das, partner of Skyland Resort, and issue an NOC, if deemed fit.

There are allegations of pollution by the use of generator set at the resort, besides risk of the river getting polluted and danger to the environment due to airguns use and other activities that calls for a clarification from the district administration.

Meanwhile, in-charge of Guijan police outpost Brajen Borgohain said that based on preliminary information, a group of 4 people had come from Lakhimpur district and one of them fell during paragliding and got seriously injured.

“He was taken to a private nursing home in Dibrugarh where he succumbed to his injuries,” he added.

Borgohain said the resort lacked safety measures.

Attempts to speak to partner of Skyland Resort, Sanjoy Das, did not yield any result.

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