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Global mountaineering and tourism meet in Kashmir next year

Written by: Staff

Srinagar, May 15 (UNI) More than 60 world famous national and international mountaineers will take part in a global mountaineering and tourism meet in Kashmir in 2007.

This was stated by Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad in the first ever general body meeting of Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering (JIM) and Winter Sports at Pahalgam in south Kashmir.

He said 15,000 mountaineers, including 3,450 women, were trained in various courses conducted at the institute.

Mr Azad said during the past 18 years all tourist-related activities had come to a grinding halt in the Kashmir valley, but with the restoration of normalcy adventure tourism was establishing its importance.

The Chief Minister assured that this year JIM's budget will be increased from Rs 115 lakh to Rs 150 lakh.

The Indian Mountaineering Foundation, the apex body of mountaineering in the country, will organise an international mountaineers and tourism meet in Kashmir in 2007 which will be attended by more than 60 world famous mountaineers, he informed.

The Chief Minister also demanded a JIM sub-centre at Bhaderwah.

The meeting, chaired by JIM president and Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee, reviewed its performance and appreciated that the institute has succeeded in increasing its revenue, which will prove beneficial in the long term for creation of necessary infrastructure required for ideal mountaineering.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Mukherjee said Jammu and Kashmir, bestowed by nature with great and vast mountain ranges, has tremendous potential which if explored properly would surpass Switzerland in adventure tourism.

He expressed confidence that under Mr Azad's leadership not only various complex problems faced by people of the state during last several decades would be resolved, but the reconstruction programme, particularly in the tourism sector, will take new dimensions.

''God has bestowed the Kashmir valley with rare beauty and heavenly terrains. It is an ideal destination for tourists across the world. The snow-capped mountains and captivating environment are required to be properly showcased to boost adventure tourism,'' the Defence Minister said.

He called for training of boys and girls from poor section of the society on sponsorship basis so that free structure does not hamper their career in mountaineering and called for associating private organisations, groups and institutes.

The meeting also approved the budget and the proposed fee structure for all kinds of training.

It was also agreed that steps would be taken to create maximum and suitable accommodation facility for trainees to attract the youth to adventure sports.


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