The Surinsar Mansar Twin lakes were thronged by hundreds of enthusiastic trekkers on the occasion of Mansar Great Trek Festival. The event was marked by organising a trekking event on four different nature trails culminating at Mansar lake.The trekkers were flagged off from Surinsar, Mahoregarh, Manwal and Baarigarh respectively. All the treks were manned by forest officials from Department Of Wildlife, Directorate of Social Forestry and Territorial Forest Divisions under Eco Tourism Initiative. The trekking routes were opened for trekking after carrying out a recce of the nature trails by the forest department and its allied agencies.The aim of Ecotourism initiative was to promote adventure activities in a sustainable and eco-friendly manner. The Wildlife Department has already introduced battery operated vehicles at Mansar to reduce carbon footprints.Director Tourism, OP Bhagat and Director, State Forest Research Institute OP Sharma Vidyarthi IFS along with S. Bhattacharjee, Chairman, Indian Mountaineering Foundation, North Zone and Satpal DFO Jammu flagged off the trekking expedition from Surinsar lake destination.Deputy Commissioner Udhampur Ravinder Kumar flagged off trekking expedition from Manwal and Baarigarh respectively in the presence of Kaiser Malik, Tehsildar Majalta, Suraj Chander Jasrotia, ETO Udhampur Reasi Excise Range and Sahil Bhagotra ETO.
Dr Kaushal Sharma SSP Samba flagged off the trekkers from Mahoregarh to Mansar in the presence of Rajan Sharma, XEN SMDA, Preeti Sharma, ETO Samba Excise Range and Umesh Shan AD Tourism.Under the Corporate Social Responsibility Department of Excise provided refreshments to the participants and made them aware about the ill effects of drug abuse and need for greater participation in sports and adventure activities among youth. Telecom Company Airtel also gave caps and T-shirts to the participants. The Press Club Jammu in collaboration with SMDA launched a unique initiative of bringing a group of budding journalists to trek and cover the four treks so as to make them popular among tourists through social media. Ashwani Kumar, President Press Club Jammu was also present on the occasion.Trekkers from Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University SMVDU, Central University CU,Bhargava College, Tawi Trekkers, GHSS Kathar, GHSS Khoon, GHSS Majalta, GHSS Thial, GHSS Surinsar, GHS Thalora,Dream India School Higher Secondary School Manwal,Adarsh Shiksha Niketan Channi Himmat,DPL Samba and others participated in the Trek Fest.The mega event was organised by Surinsar Mansar Development Authority under Mansar Sunday Series in collaboration with Directorate of Tourism.