The Directorate of Tourism, Jammu under the active guidance of Sarmad Hafeez, IAS, Secretary, Tourism Department, J&K organised bird watching and photography competition at Gharana Wetland on December 16, 2022. A group of over 100 participants was flagged off by Sunaina Sharma, JKAS, Joint Director Tourism, Jammu in presence of Abdul Jabbar, JKAS Deputy Director Tourism (Publicity and Adventure) and Neha Mahajan, Deputy Director Tourism (Planning) from TRC, Jammu.

Sunaina Sharma, JKAS, Joint Director Tourism, Jammu while flagging off the group of participants briefed the media that the motive of organizing bird watching and photography competition was to promote the Gharana Wetland which is home to more than 150 species of birds like bar-headed geese, gadwalls, common teals etc and is also an eco tourism paradise among potential travel markets. It was also disclosed that many more promotional events are in pipe line especially in border destinations like the Nowshera Folk Festival, Frozen Fiesta in Poonch, Winter Carnival Sanasar/Patnitop etc in coming days.

During the visit Gul dev Raj, Head M/S Himalayan Avian and various experts from Wildlife department and other institutions explained the participants regarding the time of arrival/departure of the migratory birds, food habits, suitable climatic conditions and their role in maintaining the ecological balance. The participants in Bird Watching and Photography Competition comprised of wildlife experts, researchers of wildlife, photographers, bloggers/vloggers and other stake holders of travel trade.

Abdul Jabbar, JKAS, DDT Jammu informed all the participants that there is a dire need to conserve the migratory birds’ habitats in the interest of biodiversity. “While we enjoy the pleasant sight of various species of migratory bird from Central Asia, the event shall also encourage tourism activities in the region,” said Dheeraj, a participant.

Later in the evening a musical evening was held at Octroi Post, Suchetgarh. The Chief Guest of the function was Vivek Srivastav, Commandant,165 BN, BSF, Octroi Post Suchetgarh. The vibrant performances of the musical bonanza included local dance forms like jagarna, geetru etc. The whole ambience was festive and patriotic as both the Jawans as well as visiting tourists danced to the beats of bollywood songs.

Also present in the occasion were Sheena Sahni, JKAS, Assistant Director, Tourism Jammu, Pradeep Sharma, Assistant Commandant, BSF, Suchetgarh Octroi Post besides other stakeholders of the Tourism Department and prominent citizens of the area.

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