SRINAGAR, JANUARY 07: Secretary Tourism, Sarmad Hafeez today chaired a meeting at Civil Secretariat here to review the preparedness of department for the forthcoming third edition of ‘Khelo India National Winter Games’.
The third edition of the games will start from February 10, 2023 and culminate on February 14, 2023 in Jammu and Kashmir’s winter destination of Gulmarg.
Addressing the officers during the meeting, Sarmad Hafeez highlighted that the games will not only promote sports activities in Jammu and Kashmir but will also go a long way in attracting the tourists, both domestic and foreign, towards different tourist destinations of UT.
While reviewing the arrangements for the marquee event, the Secretary emphasized upon the government departments and private agencies associated to put in place all arrangements well in advance for the successful conduct of event. He delved upon the different stakeholders associated with the event to maintain close coordination and synergy between themselves.
The Secretary further said that the approach of the government is to promote tourism at full scale and therefore we should utilise this opportunity for promoting the tourism potential of our UT. He added that the present administration is giving utmost importance to promotion of tourism and sports in Jammu and Kashmir and we all must take maximum benefit out of this.
While reviewing other aspects related to event, Sarmad Hafeez exhorted upon the officers that all necessary arrangements like accommodation, lodging and other facilities should be put in place well in advance. He asked all the concerned stakeholders to remove bottlenecks so that the best possible facilities are established for the players, staff and other visitors.
“The event will go a long way in further increasing the tourist footfall in the ‘world famous ski destination’ Gulmarg besides giving flip to the adventure tourism of J&K”, said Sarmad.
The Secretary further asked the officers of all the line department to take care of the job of their areas and ensure foolproof arrangements for the event. He directed the PDD and PHE departments to provide uninterrupted power and water supply during the event and also asked the Mechanical Division to keep men and machinery ready so as to avert any kind of exigency that may arise due to snowfall.
The Secretary also asked the Municipal authorities to maintain hygiene in the surroundings, besides directing the health and SDRF to keep a special team of their men available during the whole event.
During the meeting, accommodation for participants, traffic management, identification of additional parking slots, snow clearance, security, transport facilities, media coverage, maintenance of slops, electricity , water, health care facilities and other related issues were also discussed in detail.
It was given out in the meeting that this year around 2000 athletes from different parts of the country will converge on the snow-bound slopes of Gulmarg during the event to compete in different categories of sports. It was also informed that sufficient accommodation for the dignitaries as well for the athletes will be facilitated in different hotels and in other resting places.
Director Tourism Kashmir, Director Health Services Kashmir, officers from Information Department, Cultural Academy, police, security, SDRF, Traffic, representatives from various winter game associations were present on the occasion while senior officers from district administration Baramulla, youth services and sports cable car joined the meeting through video conferencing.
The prominent sports activities, which will be the hallmark attractions of the winter games include Snow Shoe Race, Ice Skating, Ice Hockey, Skiing, Nordic Ski, Snowboarding, Ski Mountaineering and Ice Stock besides other activities.