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SRINAGAR: In the world famous skiing resort Gulmarg the diverse, interesting and difficult forms of winter sports like Nordic Skiing and Biathlon are flourishing with full bloom with recently on 5, 6 March full range of competitions in this regard being organized. As a matter of fact , Nordic skiing encompasses the various types of skiing in which the toe of the ski boot is fixed to the binding in a manner that allows the heel to rise off the ski, unlike Alpine skiing, where the boot is attached to the ski from toe to heel. Recreational disciplines include cross-country skiing and Telemark skiing.


Whileas on the otherhand, The biathlon is a winter sport that combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting. It is treated as a race where the contestant with the shortest total time wins. Depending on the competition, missed shots result in extra distance or time added to the contestant's total running distance or time.

At Gulmarg now conduct of these tough and dynamic winter sports are organized with much regularity. Mohammad Ashraf, President Biathlon association of Kashmir states – “ The conduct of Nordic Skiing and Biathlon is now a regular feature here in Gulmarg and both our boys and girls are able to showcase their great talents in this regard. Running for ten to fifteen kilometers continuously is an unique feature of Nordic Skiing and Biathlon involves shooting on targets while skiing and army coordination is needed in this context which we are fully getting and thus our youth are shinning.

Major General Atul Kaushik, Commandant High altitude Warfare School at Gulmarg states – “ The youth are with enthusiasm now participating in winter games and we urge more youth to come here and we are ready to train them in exciting winter sports as the talent of Kashmir is awesome. In games like Biathlon we are training our army men so that they shine in upcoming Olympics. Boys and Girls from Kashmir are performing well enough in all winter sporting realms and Gulmarg offers them world class faculties to avail.” 

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JAMMU: Minister for Forest, Environment and Ecology, Choudhary Lal Singh today directed the Divisional Forest Officers to gear up their men and machinery for demarcation of retrieved forests land to avoid further encroachment. This was stated by the Minister while addressing a meeting of officers of Forest and its allied wings, here today.


Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Ravi Kesar, Chief Wildlife Warden Manoj Panth, Commissioner/Secretary Forests, Ecology and Environment Sourabh Bhagat, Managing Director State Forest Corporation Suresh Gupta, Director Social Forestry Ashwani Gupta, Director Soil Water and Conservation, Javed Iqbal Punju, Chief Conservator of Forests Farooq Gillani, Conservator East Circle Qamar-ud-Din, Conservator West Circle T B Singh, Regional Director Wildlife Dr V S Sinthil Kumar, Regional Director Social Forestry Roop Kour Avtar besides other senior officers of Forests and its allied wings of Jammu region Wildlife were present on the occasion.

The Minister directed DFOs to prepare lists of officials or private persons involved in encroaching forest land and submit the report within week time for further necessary action under Forest Department Act. Choudhary Lal Singh said that the Forest department has rich resources and these have to be safeguarded. He said the Government has set up a Demarcation Committee for checking the activities of encroachers. The Minister reiterated that as per the directions of the High Court, encroached forest land would be vacated. 

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  • ‘Rs 3.5 cr earmarked for construction of SPCB office in Basohli’

KATHUA: Minister for Forests, Environment & Ecology, Choudhary Lal Singh has said Government is making all out efforts to revive traditional water sources and introduce modern methods of water conservation in the State. The Minister was speaking at a Constituency Level Advocacy workshop on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene organized by National Development Foundation and sponsored by Communication and Capacity Development Unit(CCDU), Deptt of PHE, I&FC at Basohli, here today.


The Minister informed that the campaign for conservation of water has been taken to Panchayat level for creating awareness at gross roots level. He said cleanliness and conservation of water bodies would pave the way for improving hygiene and sanitation. Expressing concern over shrinking of water resources due to human greed and negligence, the Minister regretted that this is happening in a country where people revere rivers and streams as divine entities.  He appealed to the masses to contribute towards ensuring safe water and proper sanitation.


Meanwhile, Choudhary Lal Singh exhorted upon the PHE department functionaries to work diligently to provide safe potable water to the populace of Basohli. He also asked them to ensure regular maintenance of the filtration plants for providing safe and hygienic drinking water to the people. The Minister informed that Government has earmarked Rs 1 crore to facilitate proper disposal of Solid and Liquid Waste in Basohli Town. He said that under the project, the Government has provided two dustbins to each household for segregated collection of bio and solid waste. He said two auto rickshaws with trolley have been put in service for door to door waste lifting and dumping at the identified place.


For improving power scenario in Basholi, Choudhary Lal Singh said that Government has identified 7500 kanal land in the area for establishing solar power plant which would generate 200-MW electricity to meet local demand. He further informed that State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) has prepared a detailed project report of Rs 3.5 crore for construction of its office in the town.

The Minister said that efforts are afoot to develop eco-tourism infrastructure around the Ranjit Sagar Lake to project it as a major tourist destination. Rajiv Khajuria, Founder Emeritus National Development Foundation, presented key note address highlighting different aspects of water, sanitation and hygiene. He informed that National Development Foundation with the support of CCDU has launched a massive campaign in Jammu, Samba and Kathua to educate people about the conservation of water. He said the organization is involving Gram Sabhas, Village Water and Sanitation Committees and students in the campaign.


A cultural programme, highlighting the message about water, sanitation and hygiene was presented on the occasion. People present on the occasion were also made aware about personal hygiene and water testing through Field Testing kits. Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) Ravi Kesar, Chairman SPCB B Sidhartha Kumar, Director Social Forestry Ashwani Gupta, Director Environment and Remote Sensing O P Sharma and other senior officers and officials of the Forest department and its wings were also present on the occasion. Later, the Minister also laid foundation for 100-bedded Girls Hostel at Basholi being constructed under RMSA.