Teams from abroad to test Chenab waters

Excelsior Sports Correspondent

Rafting event during inaugural event of International Rafting Championship at Doda on Sunday.
DODA, Feb 24: To promote adventure tourism in Jammu region and to catch the attention of adventure lovers, a 4-day long International Rafting Championship got underway in river Chenab for the first time, here today.
Minister for Tourism, Ghulam Ahmad Mir, inaugurated the event which was organized by the State Tourism Department.
The International Rafting Federation has provided technical supervision of the event and recognized J&K Rafting Cup to be awarded to the winner team, besides J&K Rafting Association is also providing technical know how during the event.
Director International Rafting Federation Joe Alice and rafting expert, Natali are the judges of the event.
Rafting teams from Australia, Nepal, Czech and Slovok republics, besides teams of Army, J&K Police, Kashmir rafting team and Jammu rafting team are participating in the event.
A 10-km river patch from Thathri to Prem Nagar Doda has been identified for the safe and adventurous rafting competition during the event.
Addressing a public gathering on the occasion, the Tourism Minister said that Government is keen to restore the tourism glory of the State and exploit its potential in adventure tourism. He said adventure tourism holds great potential to generate jobs for the State’s people.
The Minister said that about one hundred unemployed youth of Doda district would be trained in river rafting skills with the objective that they adopt this as profession and generate income for livelihood. He said the Government would provide easy loans with subsidy to these youth for managing own rafts for promotion of river tourism in the belt.
Minister for R&B, Abdul Majid Wani and Minister of State for Home and Tourism, Sajjad Ahmed Kitchloo, also spoke on the occasion and highlighted the programmes and policies initiated by the Government for all round development of the people living in hilly and remote areas.
MLA, Inderwal, G M Saroori, Director Tourism, Kashmir, Talat Parvez, Director Tourism, Jammu, RS Mehta, District Development Commissioner Doda, Assistant Director Tourism, Tariq Ahmed, Officers of Tourism Department, District Officers besides tour and travel operators of Mumbai, Delhi, representatives of national and international media and a large number of locals attended the event.

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