World's Highest Ski-lift Thrown Open In J&K
28 May 2005
Srinagar: India yesterday officially opened the world's highest gondola ski- lift in Kashmir, close to the de facto border with Pakistan, raising hopes for more tourist arrivals to the revolt-hit Himalayan region. The ropeway stretching 2.5km connects the bowl-shaped Kongdoori valley with the 4,390m snow-covered Afarwat peak at India's premier ski resort, Gulmarg, in northern Kashmir. Bad weather had delayed the completion of the lift several times in the past two years. But yesterday it was finally thrown open by Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed. 'It will usher in a new era of international tourism in Kashmir,' Sayeed said. 'It is with great pride I declare the project open.' Farooq Ahmed Shah, head of the Cable Car Corporation, one of the Kashmir government's few profit-making enterprises, breathed a sigh of relief. 'Thanks to Allah the lift has been completed. It is working,' Shah told AFP. He believes the facility will draw skiers as well as trekkers.