Army Plans a 3 Day Snow Sports Festival to Revive Tourism


A three-day snow sports festival is organised at the Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir from February 18. This is done by the administration to revive the tourism industry which took a hit due to the covid-19 pandemic. It is organised by Army’s Rashtirya Rifles unit that is based at Bhaderwah in collaboration with district administration Doda and Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering in the scenic valley. It is also known as mini Kashmir as it resembles ‘paradise on earth.’Also Read – From Socialising To Security, 6 Reasons Why Hostels Are Gaining Popularity

In the run-up to the three-day festival, different activities like snow sledging, skiing, boarding and snowman making are going on at Thanthera, Jaie Valley, Sartingal and Padri under the supervision of Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Thathri, Athar Amin Zargar who has been appointed nodal officer of the festival. Also Read – Sikkim Travel Update: State Rules Out All Covid-19 Travel Restrictions

Apart from these, other attractions will include live performance by band of Bhaderwah, photography exhibition cum competition, stalls by J&K Tourism department, high altitude warfare school and Indian Institute of skiing and Mountaineering, an army spokesman said. To finalise the arrangements, officials said the Additional Deputy Commissioner Bhaderwah Rakesh Kumar also called a high level meeting of Army officers, civil administration and other stakeholders of the tourism industry for the success of the event. Also Read – From United Kingdom to South Africa, 9 International Countries That Have Ruled Out Covid-19 Travel Ban

“The primary objective to organise snow carnival at this time is to give the much-needed boost to tourism in Bhaderwah valley which is the mainstay of the economy of the locals who have suffered a lot due to the coronavirus pandemic,” Kumar told PTI. He said the snow festival will provide a platform to the youth to showcase their talent. Locals expressed their gratitude to the Army and said the event is a welcome step and hoped that it would help revive the badly-hit tourism industry.

The tourism stakeholders were, however, critical of Bhaderwah Development Authority (BDA) for its alleged failure to highlight and boost tourism potential in Bhaderwah. “The Army, besides maintaining peace and law and order, is going an extra mile by taking the much required initiative to bring back the derailed tourism industry to life but on the other hand BDA, which is responsible to develop tourism, has completely failed to take any initiative to revive tourism,” said a local tourism player and event Manager, Manoj Kotwal.

Expressing his gratitude to the Army and the district administration for the initiative, District Development Council (DDC) member, Bhaderwah west, Yudhvir Thakur said the festival will not only provide a great opportunity to boost the tourism industry but also generate employment avenues for locals. He hit out at the BDA officials for their “non-serious” attitude towards promotion of tourism related activities.

“BDA was established to highlight the tourism potential of the area but it seems non-serious to revive tourism,” Thakur alleged. Chief Executive Officer, BDA, Navdeep Wazir refused to comment on the allegations and said he does not possess a ‘magic wand’ to revive tourism.

(With PTI inputs)


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