Adventure Tour Operators Association of Kashmir (ATOAK) today demanded that Zaberwan mountain range from Shanker Acharya to Dara–Mahadev be declared as adventure zone in the Master Plan of Srinagar.
In a statement here today, the association said the new draft proposal of Master Plan "should comply with all that is needed to make the Srinagar city a smart one in all respects including from tourism point of view.
"The fresh master plan should take care of everything Srinagar city had in past and could be revived in present," it said.
President ATOAK, Rauf Tramboo said, "Zaberwan mountain range from Shankar Acharya up to Dara and beyond should be demarcated and declared as adventure zone by carving out the trekking trails and a separate path for mountain biking.
"Whole Zaberwan area has got tremendous potential for adventure sports and recreation tourism. Since 1980s our members have done recce and undertaken many adventure related activities in this area including skiing and ski mountaineering at Mahadev and around its area, Para gliding, day long treks and mountain biking. These activities have also got great potential in this area.
"Mount Mahadev which is the highest mountain peak in central Kashmir should be connected by a Cable Car from Dara. This will not only boost summer tourism for Srinagar but will also pave way to put Srinagar on winter sports map which will include alpine skiing and ski touring in that area."
Tramboo while expressing satisfaction for the initiative taken by the government to come up with the renewed Srinagar master plan, stressed upon the need for restoring the glory of Dal and Nagin lakes and also reviving the water bodies of Khosh Haal Sar, Aanchar Sar, Gilsar, and also the water lagoons including of Babademb which are chocked and at the verge of extinction.
"It was because of these water bodies Srinagar was known as the City of lakes. Besides, the Heritage wealth mostly spread out in down town of Shahre Khas and on both sides of river Jhelum should be given top priority to restore and preserve them for tourism and history purposes," he said.