With skiing creating jobs, snow (comes as) a boon for locals
Even as the continuing snowfall has ushered in difficulties for residents of the state's hilly areas by disrupting road and telecom connectivity as well as power and water supply, it has brought gainful employment to many people in Narkanda.chandigarh Updated: Jan 25, 2015 19:23 IST
Even as the continuing snowfall has ushered in difficulties for residents of the state's hilly areas by disrupting road and telecom connectivity as well as power and water supply, it has brought gainful employment to many people in Narkanda.
The ski slope at Dhomri, 65 km from here, is a favourite tourist destination these days with hundreds of visitors flocking to Narkanda where over two dozen local youths provide skiing services at nominal charges. Though this is only a temporary job for them they make a fast buck whenever it snows heavily in the area.
"Early snow brings more work since the skiing season lasts for a long duration," said Ram Pardesi, a skiing service provider in Narkanda, a local resident who successfully completed a skiing course at the town's Institute of Mountaineering & Allied Sports a few years ago. "I have done a basic ski course from the institute and after that I started my own business," he added.
Zampa Negi, the skiing instructor at the institute, said every year several locals besides tourists enrolled in adventure sports courses likes skiing in Dhomri and many people had adopted skiing as an avenue for self-employment. "There are many service providers who rent out the ski accessories besides other traditional business. Due to the shady area snow stays for long at Dhomri ski slope, which is only one in India within the radius of 500 meters from a national highway," added Negi, who was on the Dhomri ski slope where there was around 2.5 feet of snow.
Another local resident, Honey Kumar, said during the season many tourists had been coming here for skiing and they offered those services on nominal charges of Rs. 100 to Rs. 200 per hour per skier. "We also provide the training to the fresh skier as the institute's training course is scheduled for 14 days only," he said.
Not only in Narkanda but locals in Kufri, 18 km from Shimla, have also benefited though most tourists general prefer Narkanda for skiing. Dhomri is claimed are benefitted by skiing in Kufri as it is one of the few slopes in the world with nearest approach road and north facing slope that helps long survival of thick snow blanket. Skiing is a major tourist attraction in Narkanda as it is a small town surrounded by thick forests.