Srinagar, Jan 23: Amidst the prolonged dry spell in Jammu & Kashmir, the authorities in Jammu & Kashmir have written to the Government of India (GoI), seeking the deferment of five-day Khelo India Edition-4, sources said on Tuesday. However, the officials said that all the arrangements have been finalized and all eyes are on snowfall to have a successful event in Kashmir.
As per the officials, the fourth edition of Khelo India is slated to commence from February 02-06.
Sources privy to the development said that while the scheduled dates are inching closer, the event would unlikely take place on the particular dates due to the absence of snowfall at the world-famous ski-resort Gulmarg.
Pertinently, Kashmir Valley has not witnessed any wet spell for the last nearly two months amidst the ongoing 40-day harshest winter period, Chillai-Kalan, which commenced on December 21, 2023 and will end on January 31, 2024.
Reliable sources said that to ensure a successful event, adequate precipitation in the shape of snowfall is imperative so that sports events can be organized at the venue.
“Although the snowfall is expected by the end of this month, it would take time to set the stage for different events, slated to be held under the five-day Khelo India,” they said.
Sarmad Hafeez, Secretary for Youth Services and Sports, said a decision on Khelo India national winter games will be made after a thorough review of forecast parameters, snow precipitation and subsequent weather conditions.
“The decision will be taken at an appropriate time. I would not like to speculate prior on any of the happenings. We don’t know how the weather is going to behave. We are watching the weather reports,” he said.
In response to the possibility of a curtailed schedule for the winter games, Sarmad said, “It is too early to talk about the curtailing or not curtailing the game schedule. There is no such proposal at present.”
Jammu & Kashmir Sports Council Secretary, Nuzhat Gul said that they have finalized all the arrangements for the event. She said hotels have been booked and other mandatory arrangements made to ensure the event is successful.
The Secretary Sports Council added that all eyes are now on the snowfall while the required mandatory arrangements have been already completed.
The weatherman here has predicted the possibility of light to moderate snowfall in J&K from January 29-31.
The first edition of Khelo India National Winter Games 2020 was successfully conducted at Gulmarg from March 07 to 11, 2020, in which more than 1000 participants from across the country participated.
The second edition was held in 2021, while in 2022, the third edition was postponed amid the surge in COVID-19-positive cases across the country.
Later, the third edition of Khelo India Winter Games at Gulmarg was organised in 2023 in which over 2000 participants including players, tourists and officials of different departments participated.