Suhail Khan
Bandipora, May 11: Army in association with J&K Water Skiing and the district administration organised water sports festival in Asia’s largest fresh water lake from 09 -11 May 2016 under the aegis of Chinar Corps, an army spokesman in a statement issued here said.
The three days sporting festival was aimed at creating awareness amongst the locals residing on the banks of Wular Lake on the tourism potential of the vast natural resource .
The sporting festival saw the local fishing community from 16 villages actively participating in boating (Kistie) race competition.  The boat races were organized in three categories i.e single man, three men and five men categories.  At the end, a demo on water skiing was also given by expert water sports enthusiasts from J&K Water Skiing Association, which was led by local participant Mr Showkat. Cultural event by Army Goodwill Schools, Bandipora and Sopore was also organised by local cultural troupe showcasing the rich cultural heritage of Kashmir.  The event was organized by Watlab Garrison and was presided over by Maj Gen Jarken Gamlin, GOC, Kilo Force, he said.
The finals of the mega event on 11 May 2016, saw 1500 locals cheering for their respective teams. The occasion was graced by various civil and Army officials, including Mr. Sajjad Hussain Ganai, DC Bandipora Mr. Mumtaz Ahmed Khan, SSP Bandipora & Mr. Usman Majid, MLA Bandipora. The locals hailed the joint effort of district administration, J & K Water Skiing Association & Indian Army. Shri Ghulam Hassan, Sarpanch of Zirimanz village stated that, he has never witnessed such an event in Wular Lake & expressed his desire for more such events to bring Wular Lake and the surrounding areas on the tourism map of Kashmir, he said.