Srinagar: In a first in India, the famed tourism destination of Gulmarg in J&K is all set to host first chapter of winter games under the Khelo India initiative of GoI from March 7 to March 11.
The arrangements were today finalized in a review meeting chaired by Secretary Youth Services and Sports Sarmad Hafeez.
The meeting was attended by Deputy Commissioner Baramulla G N Itoo, DG Youth Sertvices& Sports DrSaleemurRehman, Secretary Sports Council Dr Naseem Chowdhary, Joint Director Information Haris Ahmad Handoo, RTO Kashmir Akramullah Tak, SSP Baramulla Abdul Qayoom, Joint Director Tourism Tabasum Kamli, Joint Director Youth Services and Sports Bashir Ahmed, Nuzhat Ara Divisional Sports Officer Sports Council and other senior officers of GDA, Cable Car Corporation, J&K Cultural Academy, Hospitality and Protocol, SRTC, Health department. The officers of High Altitude Warfare School were also present in the meeting which was also attended by President of Winter Games association of Jammu and Kashmir Muhammad Abaas Wani, representatives of Gulmarg hotel club and office bearers of various winter games associations.
Secretary Youth Services and Sports highlighted the importance of the event for the promotion of winter sports and tourism in J&K.
“It is a challenge as well as opportunity for us to manage this mega event. We are the first to host winter edition of Khelo India in the country. Every stakeholder has to chip in with best of resources to make the event successful,” he told the meeting.
“Everyone is a professional in his respective field and I am sure everyone will give his best to make it one of the successful events in country in a professional way,” he added.
SarmadHafeez hoped that with the culmination of the event, the footfall of tourists in J&K would start in large numbers for the benefit of one and all.
The five-day winter games event will draw players from across India besides local players to compete in Ski snowboarding, snow rugby, ice stock sport and snow baseball.
A threadbare discussion was held regarding the accommodation of guests and participants.
The meeting was informed that local hoteliers have been roped in to facilitate the accommodation of participants and guests.
Regarding the availability of ski equipments for players, the Secretary Sports Council informed the meeting that sufficient numbers of kits have been arranged in association with HAWS, tourism department and winter games association.
Secretary YSS also set a deadline of three days for grooming of slopes with snow beaters and groomers.
To ensure safety and timely medical assistance of participants, he directed the officers to keep sufficient number of ski rescue patrol teams available.
For hassle free travel of participants, facilitation counters would be setup at Srinagar airport, Tangmarg and Tourism Reception Center Srinagar.
The meeting also decided that handloom, handicrafts departments would set up stalls to showcase live demonstration of making different handicraft items.
It was also decided that Cultural academy would present folk items every evening during the event and stalls of Kashmiri cuisinewould also be arranged by JKTDC.
Information Department would be covering the event for wide publicity in print and electronic media.
It was also decided that tourism department would facilitate the media personnel from outside for covering the event and highlight the scope of tourism in J&K.