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KARGIL: Special Olympics Bharat J&K organized District Games at Munshi Habibullah Mission School Kargil.  Differently abled persons hailing from far flung areas of Kargil district participated in the sports event and demonstrated their potential through sports. Chief Education Officer Kargil who was the Chief Guest inaugurated the District games. Sub Divisional Magistrate Sanko; Ajeet Singh presided over the inaugural function. The Chief Guest hailed the efforts of SOB J&K chapter for the initiatives in organizing such an event. Joint Director Youth Service and Sports, Director Mission School Kargil, state president SOB-J&K and other officers were also present on the occasion.


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  • Unveils logo of Tour de Kashmir
  • Highlights need to provide benchmark facilities to adventure lovers, laying of dedicated cycling tracks alongside Boulevard, known tourist destinations

SRINAGAR: In a big boost to revive mountaineering as a major adventure sport, Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Monday flagged off the first expedition in 25 years by J&K Mountaineering & Hiking Club (JKHMC) to conquer Kolahoi, the valley’s highest and most arduous peak to climb. He also unveiled the logo of the 13th Tour de Kashmir cycle race, an annual affair that attracts professional paddlers from all over the country.

Mufti Sayeed, who also holds the charge of Tourism portfolio, handed over the flag to the squad leader and wished his team success at a simple flag off ceremony organized here this morning. Director General, Information & Public Relations, Zaffar Ahmad, Secretary Tourism, Farooq Ahmad Shah, President JKMHC, Mahmood Ahmad Shah and President of J&K Sports Development Association (JKSDA), Tariq Rashid Ghani, were present on the occasion.

The State Tourism Department is sponsoring a joint team of Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF), country’s premier regulatory body on mountaineering expeditions, and JKMHC, which will attempt to scale one of the iconic peaks of the valley for the first time since 1990. However, last time when Kolahoi, also known asGashibror to locals, was conquered was in 2009 when the trainees of Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering (JIM) successfully climbed the peak.

In his meeting with IMF President in May earlier this year, the Chief Minister had described J&K as a mountaineer’s delight and underlined the need to organize expeditions to Nun Kun and Kolahoi peaks to provide fillip to adventure sports in the state. The Secretary Tourism informed the Chief Minister that this year so far, seven expeditions to Nun Kun peaks have been organized by IMF, with active support of the Tourism Department.        

The well-trained group of 15 climbers, led by Group Leader Sourabh Gandhi and equipped with modern mountaineering gadgets, will take eastern ridge route to Kolahoi, the same which was taken by the first successful expedition, led by Kennith Mason and Dr. Ernest Neve in 1912. The expedition will set up base camp at the snout of the Kolahoi Glacier on 9th September and attempt to climb the peak on September 12th and 13th.    

The affects of global warming have also taken its toll on the main Kolahoi Glacier, making the route more treacherous because of crevices, icefalls and overhangs.

Hailing the young climbers for their courage for attempting to scale a technically-difficult peak, Mufti Sayeed hoped mountaineering expeditions will become a regular affair, especially in climbing challenging peaks in Zanskar, Himalayas and Kishtwar regions. “Our attempts in promoting adventure sports like mountaineering will bear fruit only if we are able to provide benchmark facilities to nature enthusiasts and climbers,” he said, while highlighting the need to provide copter evacuation, quick-aid facilities and emergency oxygen supplies to the expedition teams, which are prerequisites in organizing international expeditions.  

After unveiling the logo of Tour de Kashmir, the Chief Minister said the Government will lay dedicated tracks from Drugjan (Dalgate) to Hazratbal, alongside Foreshore Road, as well as at all leading tourist destinations to popularize cycling as a sport. “In Berlin, cycling is a major eco-friendly pastime with young and old paddling along their tracks while criss-crossing city and its suburbs,” he said.

Tour de Kashmir, a regular feature for the past 12 years, is being organized by J&K SDA in collaboration with Tourism Department. It will see professional cyclists participate from all over the country. The 10-day event will have six stages and is scheduled to cover a distance of 388 km from Verinag, Pahalgam, Srinagar, Dudpathri, Gulmarg, Sonamarg before concluding at Srinagar.       

The members of the squad, who will be part of expedition to climb Kolahoi, are Sajad Hyder, Ram Singh, Manik Slathia, Bikram Boro, Parminder Sharma, Prashant Negi, Roshan Kotaria, Manish Kumar, Rouf Tramboo, Junaid Beigh, Nawab Muazam, Imtiyaz Qureshi, G. M. Wani and Irfan Ahmad.


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  • MLA’s zest to transform Nagrota constituency
  • Mohit, Shubam, Surinder bag first 3 positions

SURINSAR: Preceded by early hour showers,  the bewitching and serene Surinsar in Nagrota Assembly Constituency on Sunday witnessed colourful kites dotting blue skies, reflections of which in the magnificent lake, making the event spectacular.  First of its kind, the initiative conceptualised by MLA Nagrota and Provincial President National Conference Jammu,  Mr Devender Singh Rana, the mega festival turned out a big event with 600 kite fliers thronging from various parts of the capital city to participate. They included young boys and girls besides children, who were enthusiastic to display their expertise in kite flying.

Bringing people from far and wide of the city and Nagrota Assembly Constituency, the day long festival has been designed as a public initiative to promote the lake as a favourite destination for holidayers on weekends in particular. The cool breeze in the perfect setting of scenic Surinsar facilitated the kite fliers to achieve high altitudes. The colourful kites of different sizes and designs kept swinging with blowing breeze, attracting big applause from the onlookers.  Fluttering and darting in close proximity of the hillock, the fliers triumphly kept cutting strings of other kites, which presented a unique spectacle.

In a message, Mr Devender Singh Rana hoped the event will go a long way in popularising Surinsar as a picnic destination for the residents of Jammu and adjoining areas besides incoming pilgrims to Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine. He appreciated the effort put in by the people of Nagrota Assembly Constituency in making the event successful and said the idea is to give fillip to the local economy.

Mr Rana exuded confidence that determination of the people will succeed in deriving the dividends in terms of more and more people visiting the area. Vice President of the Take 1 Channel Mr Faheem Tak dwelt on the initiatives of the kite festival and hazards of the banned Chinese threat and urged upon the fliers to make use of permissible threads only for safety of the people.

Mr Tak said that the response of the competitors has been quite encouraging and this festival will be a regular annual feature. Vivek Suri, Arti Sharma and Vijay from the Take-1 Channel anchoring team gave a vivid account of the festival to the audience, which kept cheering on each move of the kite fliers.

Mohit Verma of Panjtirathi bagged the first prize while Shubam of Pacca Danga and Surinder Ghai of Reshamgarh Colony respectively got second and third prizes. Jaswinder Kour bagged special prize in the women segment while four-year old Jai Vardhan of Nagrota was declared the youngest winner of the festival. Thirty consolation prizes were also given the fliers for their distinction.

Sarpanch Surinsar Mr Subash Singh, Advocate  who presented vote of thanks, enumerated the steps taken by Mr Devender Singh Rana in putting the constituency on track of development. “This particular initiative has enthused the residents who are optimistic about the area becoming popular tourist destination”, he added.

Surinsar Lake is known for its natural bounty and mythological importance. Surrounded by thickly wooded mountain ranges and serene environs, it is a popular and perfect picnic spot. The beauty and natural splendour of Surinsar Lake can be compared with the magnificence of Dal Lake and Nagin Lake of Srinagar.

Prominent among those present on the occasion included Mr Mubassir Latifee, Sr Superintendent of Police, Crime Jammu, Mr  Rameshwar Dutt, Advocate Raman Wazir, Ch Rehmat Ali, Mr Sajjad Parvez, Mr Jagdish Khajuria, SDPO Nagrota, Mr Bharat Bhushan besides Sarpanches , Panches and locals from Nagrota in large numbers.