Secretary, Tourism Department, Dr. Syed Abid Rasheed Shah today chaired a meeting of all concerned departments to review preparedness for Winter Tourism and various other related activities at famous tourist resort Gulmarg.
Deputy Commissioner Baramulla, Dr Syed Sehrish Asgar; Managing Director, J&K Tourist Development Corporation, Minga Sherpa; Director Tourism Kashmir, Raja Yaqoob Farooq; Chief Engineer PDD, Javid Yousuf Dar; Chief Engineer PW(R&B), Rafiq Ahmad Rafiq; Chief Engineer MED Kashmir besides other concerned officers were present in the meeting.
Deputy Commissioner gave an overview of winter arrangements being finalized by the district administration for smooth conduct of winter tourism in Gulmarg. She informed about the snow clearance plan and road connectivity, drinking water supply, homologation of slopes, signage at the destination, snow safety, working of ski patrols and rescue teams, medical facilities being put in place 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, Secretary Tourism stressed upon the officers to make sure adequate arrangements are in place during the the event for convenience of tourists.
Dr Abid instructed the officers to conduct audit of basic amenities at Gulmarg and rectify gaps in advance. He asked them for holding meetings with hoteliers, Poni wallas, transporters, private players and other concerned stakeholders regarding smooth conduct of winter tourism activities in Gulmarg.
While stressing for exploring every possibility for promoting winter tourism at Gulmarg, Secretary asked the concerned officers to ensure smooth regulation of traffic movement in the territorial area of Gulmarg besides ensuring the parking facilities at Tangmarg.
Dr Abid directed the concerned officers to ensure uninterrupted water and power supply during the scheduled hours. He also directed the concerned officers to keep men and machinery ready to tackle any kind of exigency that may arise due to heavy snowfall.
Secretary also asked the concerned functionaries of NHIDCL and traffic for providing additional recovery van to the venue and further deployment of traffic men in Gulmarg for hassle free conduct of winter activities. He further directed the CEO, Gulmarg Development Authority for making available two hundred pair chains for vehicles for tackling any exigency that may arise during the winter.
Further, Secretary also reviewed the status of facilities and services available at the local club and other outlets of the JKTDC. He directed for constant monitoring and innovation. He also reviewed the calendar of skiing courses, snow beats being run by the Youth Services Department and IISM and directed close coordination between them and the Tourism Department for optimal results.
Dr Abid asked the concerned departments to work on innovations and new ideas for making the coming season memorable for visitors. In this regard, he suggested working on concepts like illuminations, winter carnival, snow activities, skiing, cuisine, music etc besides quality services in different segments of the tourist interface.
Moreover, with regard to Solid Waste Management, Secretary deliberated upon the Gulmarg Development Authority and Municipality to come up with a plan focusing on garbage free Gulmarg.Furthermore, Secretary sought coordinated approach of all the departments in creating new experiences at the winter destination so that tourists return back with joyful memories.
Meanwhile, directions were also passed for establishment of a joint control room comprising all the concerned departments to monitor all arrangements during the winter season.