Srinagar: To attract more tourists to the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir government is in talks with several companies for procuring snow-making machines to start the skiing season earlier.

“We are in touch with some companies for the procurement of the snow-making machines in order to prepone the tourist ski season at Gulmarg,” Director Tourism, Kashmir, Talat Pervez told PTI.

Pervez said the ski-tourism season in Gulmarg normally starts in January, but the department wants to be able to start it from mid-November.

“That would benefit the state a lot. It would help attract more and more tourists to the Valley,” he said.

The step would extend the stay of tourists at Gulmarg who visit the resort to see snow and enjoy winter sports, he said.

The director said the department has already started the process and expressed hope that the state will have the machines this year.

“The process has been started. We have asked few firms to submit the specifications of such machines and once we get them, we will analyse them and choose one,” he said.

Pervez said if the department succeeds in the experiment at Gulmarg, the machines would be used at other places across the Valley. “If we succeed, we could use such machines to have skiing in Srinagar,” he said.

Snow-making is the process of producing snow by forcing water and pressurised air through a ‘snow gun’ or ‘snow cannon’ on ski slopes. Snow making is mainly used at ski resorts to supplement natural snow and it allows such resorts to improve the reliability of the snow cover and thereby extend the ski-season.

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