First chapter of winter games at Gulmarg; Sarmad Hafeez reviews arrangements

SRINAGAR, FEBRUARY 25: Secretary, Youth Services and Sports, Sarmad Hafeez today chaired a meeting to review the arrangements made for holding the first chapter of winter games from March 7 to March 11 at Gulmarg.

The games are being held under the Khelo India initiative.

The meeting was attended by Deputy Commissioner Baramulla G N Itoo, DG Youth Services & Sports Dr Saleem ur Rehman, Secretary Sports Council Dr Naseem Chowdhary, Joint Director Information, Harris Ahmad Handoo, RTO Kashmir Akramullah Tak, SSP Baramulla Abdul Qayoom, Joint Director Tourism Tabasum Kamili, Joint Director Youth Services and Sports, Bashir Ahmed, Divisional Sports Officer, Sports Council and other senior officers of GDA, Cable Car Corporation, J&K Cultural Academy, Hospitality and Protocol, SRTC and Health department.

Officers of High Altitude Warfare School(HAWS) were also present in the meeting which was also attended by President, Winter Games Association of Jammu and Kashmir, Muhammad Abbas 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 an opportunity for us as 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.

Sarmad Hafeez hoped that with the culmination of the event, the footfall of tourists in J&K would improve considerably 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.

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 equipment for players, the Secretary Sports Council informed the meeting that sufficient number 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 cuisine would 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.