SRINAGAR Describing J&K as a mountaineer and trekkers delight, Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, today said the Government plans to showcase huge wealth of unclimbed peaks it has by making them accessible to mountaineers and adventure lovers from the country and abroad.
To begin with, Nun and Kun peaks in Kargil and Kolahoi, in Pahalgam, will be packaged as destination points for expedition lovers.
The Chief Minister said this in a meeting today with the members of Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF), led by its President, Col. H. S. Chauhan.
Director, Tourism, Kashmir, Farooq Ahmad Shah, was also present on the occasion.
During the meeting, the Chief Minister said the Central Government will be approached to classify several peaks as open for mountaineering and trekking purposes to boost adventure sports in the State.
Placing high priority on development of infrastructural facilities for mountaineers, the Chief Minister asked President IMF to highlight unclimbed and technically-challenging peaks in Leh, Kargil, Kashmir and Kishtwar areas, which the international climbers will find exciting.
In order to make mountaineering expeditions safe, the Chief Minister said the issue of allowing helicopter evacuation, emergency oxygen supplies and quick-aid facilities will be taken up with the concerned Ministry.
Calling upon Tourism Department to promote trekking as a major adventure tourism activity, the Chief Minister emphasized upon revival of Zanskar-Panikher, Dachigam-Pahalgam and Sonamarg-Gangabal treks. For this, he urged upon IMF to undertake extensive promotional exercise for which the Department of Tourism will provide necessary support.
The Chief Minister also desired that a Youth Festival, primarily focusing on adventure tourism, may be organized at Srinagar, for which the Tourism Department and IMF will separately work out modalities.
The Chief Minister further emphasized upon training local youth to build their capacities for their engagement in mountaineering and training expeditions. To achieve this, he said mountain recreation and tourism in J&K has to be linked with engagement of rural communities.
President IMF assured the Chief Minister that foreign expeditions to Nun and Kun and other open peaks are being organized. He said for Nun and Kun alone, 16 expeditions have so far been booked this year. He also informed the Chief Minister that IMF and the State Tourism Department will jointly explore the possibility of organizing National Rock Climbing Championship at Srinagar.
The State Tourism Department has an Artificial Rock Climbing Wall at Nowgam.
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