Snow Scooters, Skating Rink & Wi-Fi for Gulmarg Winter Resort
Gulmarg (Kashmir), October 31, 2010 – Minister of State for Tourism, Jammu & Kashmir, today said that government is projecting Gulmarg as an international tourist destination for which various steps are being taken to upgrade infrastructure. He revealed that government is keen to come up to the benchmarks of International Ski Federation (FIS), the prime organization for Ski Sports, so that winter sports are held at the world famous resort.
The Minister said this while reviewing the development work at Gulmarg by Gulmarg Development Authority (GDA) and J&K Cable Car Corporation (J&KSCCC), here today in presence of Managing Director, J&KSCCC, Deputy Director Tourism, Executive Officer, Municipal Committee (MC), Tangmarg and other senior officers of GDA.
The Minister directed GDA to immediately install Wi-Fi technology to provide high speed wireless internet and network connections and procure 3 Snow Scooters for the visitors on trial basis. “The Chief Minister, in his last review, had stated that government will make additional allocation in works’ programme so that gaps in making Gulmarg ideal for foreign tourists are filled earnestly,” the Minister said, adding that he will visit Gulmarg again on November 18 to see that the instructions communicated have been implemented.
Stressing the need to have Wi-Fi system, the Minister stated that the system will keep Gulmarg connected to the rest of the world and will ensure that timely intervention is made to meet natural calamities like avalanches and road blockades.
The Minister also asked GDA to complete the Skating Rink without any further delay for which the government has allocated substantial funds in this year’s work’s plan.
On the progress achieved on the laying of Gulmarg Golf Course, the Minister impressed upon GDA to complete the project on time. “A Task Force, headed by none other than the Chief Minister, has been constituted for early completion of Gulmarg and Pahalgam Golf Courses” the Minister said while stressing the need to complete the project without any further delay. The Minister was informed that while work on greens, tees and bunkers had been completed; the work was presently underway at fairways, catch basins and drainage.
The Minister called upon the officers of GDA and MC, Tangmarg to ensure that no illegal constructions come up at the health resort without proper permission of BOCA. “As proposed in Pahalgam, the CEO will head a contact committee that will ensure that all concerned departments work in total coordination and not against each other’s interests,” he added.
While reviewing the performance of J&K SCCC, the Minister expressed satisfaction over Rs. 13.34 crore revenue earned by the Corporation in 2009-10, a quantum jump of almost Rs. 5 crore as compared to 2008-09. This fiscal, the Minister was told, J&K SCCC has recorded a revenue of Rs. 10.57 crore till October this year.
The Minister disclosed that the government has decided to install a fixed-grip Ski Lift at Kangdori to pave way for holding of national and international skiing events. The work on the project, estimated to cost Rs. 18 crore, has been allotted to a French company, M/s Pomalgaski, and the construction of the chair-lift from Kangdori to Marry Shoulder is currently in progress. The project, which was to be completed this month, has been delayed due to unrest in the valley over the last few months.
Managing Director, J&K SCCC also briefed the Minister about the proposed ropeways at Makhdoom Sahib and Shankaracharya in Srinagar, Ashmuqam Dargah in Anantnag and Mubarak Mandi in Jammu.
The Minister directed Managing Director, J&K SCCC to expeditiously process obtaining No Objection Certificates from various departments including Forest and J&K Pollution Control Board to execute the projects.
Earlier yesterday, the Minister visited Gulmarg Palace, which is being restored by GDA in collaboration with INTACH, J&K Chapter, at a cost of Rs. 1.61 crore. The Minister called upon the Executive Engineer, GDA to immediately begin the restoration work since very little working season is left in Gulmarg. He also visited the site of Gulmarg Golf Course where he inspected the work on greens, bunkers and tees.