Secy Tourism Reviews Readiness for winter tourism activities in Gulmarg – Kashmir Observer

GULMARG- Secretary, Department of Tourism, Dr. Syed Abid Rasheed Shah on Saturday presided over a meeting of all concerned departments to review the preparedness for winter tourism and various other related activities at the famous tourist resort of Gulmarg.

Deputy Commissioner Baramulla, Dr. Syed Sehrish Asghar; Managing Director, J&K Tourist Development Corporation, Minga Sherpa; Director Tourism Kashmir, Raja Yakub Farooq; Chief Engineer PDD, Javid Yusuf Dar; Chief Engineer PW(R&B), Rafiq Ahmad Rafiq; The meeting was attended by Chief Engineer MED Kashmir besides other concerned officials.

The Deputy Commissioner reviewed the winter arrangements being finalized by the district administration for smooth conduct of winter tourism in Gulmarg. It informs about the plan for snow removal and road connectivity, water supply with drinking water, homologation of the slopes, signaling of the destination, snow safety, the work of the ski patrols and rescue teams, the medical facilities that are located at the destination.

While reviewing the winter preparedness of all departments including JKTDC, Gulmarg Development Authority and Cable Car Corporation, Youth Services & Sports, PDD, R&B, Jal Shakti and other concerned departments, the tourism secretary stressed on officials to ensure that adequate measures are in place during the event for the convenience of tourists.

Dr. Abid instructed the officials to conduct an audit of the basic amenities in Gulmarg and rectify the gaps in advance. He asked them to hold meetings with hoteliers, Poni wallas, transporters, private players and other stakeholders regarding the smooth conduct of winter tourism activities in Gulmarg.

Emphasizing that he is exploring every opportunity to promote winter tourism in Gulmarg, the secretary asked the officials concerned to ensure smooth regulation of traffic in the Gulmarg territorial area besides providing parking facilities in Tangmarg.

Dr. Abid directed the officials concerned to ensure uninterrupted water supply and power supply during the scheduled hours. He also directed the officials concerned to keep men and machinery ready to deal with any kind of emergency that may arise due to heavy snowfall.

The secretary also asked the NHIDCL and traffic officials concerned to provide an additional van for site recovery and additional deployment of traffic officials at Gulmarg for smooth conduct of winter activities. He further directed the Chief Executive Officer, Gulmarg Development Authority to provide two hundred pairs of vehicle chains to meet any need that may arise during the winter.

In addition, the Secretary also reviewed the status of facilities and services available at the local club and other sites of JKTDC. It points to constant monitoring and innovation. He also reviewed the calendar of ski courses, snow shots conducted by the Youth Services Department and IISM and directed close coordination between them and the Tourism Department for optimum results.

Dr. Abid asked the concerned departments to work on innovations and new ideas to make the upcoming season memorable for the visitors. In this regard, he suggested working on concepts such as illuminations, winter carnival, snow activities, skiing, cuisine, music, etc., besides quality services in various segments of the tourism interface.

Also, in terms of solid waste management, the secretary discussed Gulmarg Development Authority and the municipality to come up with a plan focusing on a garbage-free Gulmarg.

The secretary further sought a coordinated approach of all departments to create new experiences at the winter destination so that tourists return with happy memories.

Meanwhile, directions were also taken to set up a joint control room involving all concerned departments to monitor all arrangements during the winter season.

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