“They are lying and misrepresenting the facts. We have written to the Sports Council to blacklist this association for hurling baseless allegations against the department”
Within hours after Lieutenant Governor, Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, Manoj Sinha along with Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, Anurag Thakur launched 3rd edition of Khelo India National Winter Games Anthem, Mascot and Jersey, to be held at Gulmarg, a representation written by J&K Snowshoe Association, accusing the Directorate of Tourism, Kashmir of showing unprofessional response for national Snowshoe Championship, has surfaced.
According to the representation (in possession of The Typewriter), due to lack of support by the Directorate of Tourism, Showshoe association, which is affiliated with SnowShoe Federation, India, had to cancel National SnowShoe Championship, at the last moment.
The championship was scheduled to be held in December, last year in Gulmarg, Kashmir, and the J&K SnowShoe Association had announced that they will notify the renewed dates. However, the association had to put out a surprising new notification, distressing nearly 150 athletes, who were supposed to participate in the said championship. The association stated that the reason for cancelling the Championship was lack of support from Directorate of Tourism, Kashmir, which they had been repeatedly promised.
Talking to The Typewriter, Dr. Altaf-Ur-Rehman, General Secretary of J&K SnowShoe Association said, “We have been forced to cancel the event at last moment, thanks to the unprofessional conduct of Tourism Department and concerned Deputy Director Recreation. In the process we have to face wrath of the visiting teams/athletes from all over Country who were forced to cancel their tickets at last moment.”
Dr. Rehman added, “Being stakeholders of Winter Sports and tourism J&K SnowShoe Association has been working closely with Tourism Department for last many years now and has been giving credit to the department in all its activities despite not getting any kind of monetary support.”
He said that they believe the sport of SnowShoe and Tourism sector are inter dependent and have been doing their bit in the process. “Association had approached Director Tourism, Kashmir on 17th of November 2022, for support for the conduct of 7th National SnowShoe Championship in shape of food and lodging for 150 member contingent. We were given a positive response and promised the same,” he said, adding “We started the process and invited teams from all over India. On 1st December, 2022, the meeting of all Winter Sports stakeholders was conducted under the chairmanship of Director Tourism, Kashmir, and we were again assured of every possible support.”
Dr. Rehman further said that instead of the promised food and lodging for 150 members’ contingent, they were given the support for only a 30 members’ contingent, which forced them to cancel the event at the last moment.
He asserted “Food and lodging for the 150 member contingent for three days would have not much burden for the department, but due to unprofessional approach of the department, the event of such national importance was cancelled.”
Talking to The Typewriter, Malik Waseem Ahmad, Dy. Director Tourism, Recreation said that Director Tourism could be the better person to comment on the matter.However, when asked about his role, he said that the Snowshoe Association is ‘lying’ and is misrepresenting the facts.
“The representation of the Association is full of contradictions. They are lying and pushing misrepresentation of facts,” he said and added that they have also written to the Sports Council to blacklist this association for hurling baseless allegations against the department.
He said that the directorate had written to the JKTDC as per the norms and all the required accommodation was offered to them ahead of the event.
“They cancelled their events and when we asked about it, they alleged that accommodation was not provided. We contacted the concerned officer for the same and got to know that there was no snowfall in Gulmarg and the required accommodation was already offered to them,” he said and added that the representation by the association is contradictory, wherein they maintain that tourism department did not lend any support to the association.
They have written records from the association wherein it is vindicated that tourism department have been providing necessary equipments and other facilities to the snowshoe association.