National Ski Championship at Gulmarg from Feb. 11

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Ski Lift, Heli Port, 400 KVA Solar Plant Opened at Gulmarg

GULMARG:-Minister for Tourism, Mr Ghulam Ahmad Mir, on Thursday inaugurated a state-of-the-art Ski lift, Ski rescue base and Ski heli port at the world famous ski-resort here. He also laid foundation of Tourist Information center there.

Latest technology has been adopted in the construction of ski lift named as Harmukh Ski lift on the foothills of towering Apharwath Mountain adds further charm to this skier spot to ensure efficiency and safety of the project. The ski lift has a length of 450 meters and has passenger capacity of 720 skiers per hour, was completed by the State Cable Car Corporation at a cost of Rs. 1.70 crore. While as the ski rescue base at kongdoori having control area, 2 rooms for control room, 4 rooms for ski patrolling party with 2 bio digested toilets was constructed at a cost of Rs. 65 lakh, besides the heli port at the destination developed by Rs. 45 lakh to provide the added facilities to the adventure lovers visiting to the destination from various parts of the world.

The installation of 400KVA off line solar gen.set(plant) has been completed at a cost of Rs 5.65 crore by the financial assistance of Union Energy and Renewable Ministry helps to provide power facility at the destination.

While inaugurating these innovative adventure attractions, the Tourism Minister said that the ski lift with other chairlifts enabled to develop Kongdoori as an international ski destination and pave the way for hosting international skiing events. He said the project would also give considerable boost to the winter tourism in the State and help generate additional economic activities for the people.

The Tourism Minister said that tourism Department in collaboration with Winter Games of India is holding 4 day long National level Junior and sub junior skiing championship at Gulmarg commencing from February 11th, 2013  to showcase its winter tourism potential. He said over 150 skiers of various States of the Country is participating in the event.

The Minister said the trained and skilled human resource of the state could take a lot of benefit from the adventure tourism industry. He said government is adding adventure attractions for tourists at several destinations in the State. He said work on Mukdoom shahib Rope way project is being completed during next fiscal. He said the work on Ashmuqam Rope way is apace through PPP mode. He Said the construction work on Mubarak Mandi Cable Car Project would be started from March this year . He said that tenders for construction of Shiv Khori Rope way have been floated. He said all these projects would be completed in time bound manner.

Mir said the government had taken “effective steps” for the holistic development of tourism sector in the state. He said the adventure tourism held great potential to generate jobs for the people especially youth.

However, he cautioned against illegal constructions at any tourist resort. The Minister said the government was for balanced development as well as conservation of environment and ecology of the state. “Infrastructural development in synch with the ecology and environment is need of hour,” he added.         

The Tourism Minister said with conventional tourism, the adventure and pilgrim tourism should also receive focused attention. “The government is keen to restore the tourism glory of the State and showcase its high potential in adventure tourism,” he said.

Minister for Agriculture, Ghulam Hassan Mir, and Minister for Tourism while highlighting the importance of these attractions said that these would prove an important land mark in the growth and promotion of tourism in the State.

The Minister said that in recent years, Gulmarg has emerged as a major ski resort in the world. A record number of tourists continue to throng the region every year. Thanks to Gulmarg Gondola, the world’s highest passenger ropeway system, tourists enjoy skiing besides the panoramic view of Kashmir valley, he added.

 The Minister said that his Government has flagged development and balanced growth of tourism as one of the important concerns in the policy planning. “For its great potential to generate employment for the people especially youth, measures have been initiated to effect holistic development of this sector”, he added.

Director Tourism who also holds the charge of JKCCC said that the Gulmarg ‘Gondola project’ is the world’s highest passenger ropeway system, carrying skiers to an altitude of 13,400 ft above sea level. It is also Asia’s longest ropeway with an aerial distance of 5.10 km, the latest addition of gondola was Kongdoori-Merry Shoulder Chairlift which was thrown open for tourists during the year 2011.              

He said that with this feature, tourism has got a shot in the arm and revenues have also jacked up. He said that Gulmarg Gondola has earned record revenue of over Rs.30 crore this fiscal so far which is double against the revenue realized during lost two years. In recent years, the state of Jammu & Kashmir has witnessed a growing number of tourists. 2012 was a record year with tourists’ number crossing the figure of 19 lakhs, including about 5 lakh Amaranth pilgrims. And, tourist’s itinerary is incomplete without a jaunt to Gulmarg and above all, a ride at Gulmarg Gondola, he said.

 

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