Chief Minister, Mufti Muhammad Sayeed unveiled the official logo of the 13th Tour de Kashmir cycling expedition, here on Monday.
Tour de Kashmir, a regular feature for the past 12 years is a 10-day event which is scheduled to cover a distance of 388 km from Verinag, Pahalgam, Srinagar, Dudpathri, Gulmarg, Sonamarg before concluding at Srinagar.
“It is the only kind of its event held in the entire country which involves continuous six days of stage wise cycling, replicating the famous Tour de France event”, the organizers said in a statement. Mufti unveiled the logo in presence of Secretary Tourism, Farooq Ahmad Shah, RTO Kashmir Mahmood Ahmad Shah, Director General, Information & Public Relations, Zaffar Ahmad, JKSDA senior Vice-President Rauf Tramboo, JKSDA officials Tariq Ghani, Muhammad Yousuf, deputy director Tourism and other officials.
While unveiling the logo of the event, Chief Minister said that adventure sports like cycling have got tremendous potential in the State and these kinds of events should be held on larger scale. “We have got untapped market of adventure sport tourism in the State and there is need for comprehensive plans to be devised for it. I will do my best to make adventure sports as main attraction while highlighting the tourism potential of the State”, he said.
About Tour de Kashmir cycling event he said, “The event has got tremendous potential and in near future it should be turned into international tourism promotion expedition. The stage wise event will highlight diverse tourism potential of the State and also will give our youth chance to compete neck to neck with professional cyclists”.
Mufti Sayeed stressed on the need to incorporate cycling as a daily medium of transport for which dedicated cycling tracks should be developed in the city.
He 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 and pollution free daily medium of transport. “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.
Secretary Tourism, Farooq Shah on the occasion said that Tourism department is geared up to host this mega event and for that all the preparations are going on.
“Our aim is to make Kashmir as an adventure sport paradise and this event will help in great deal to achieve that. We plan to invite international level cyclists for the event in future,” he further said.