Tuesday, February 27
Absence of snowfall prompts unusual methods to keep ice fit to play in Kargil

Absence of snowfall prompts unusual methods to keep ice fit to play in Kargil

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KARGIL: With the absence of traditional snowfall during peak winter in the union territory of Ladakh, the use of electric fans to maintain thick ice in Ice Hockey and Skating Rinks in Kargil district has become a striking symbol of the territory’s adaptation to evolving weather patterns.

This January marked the first time in recent memory that Ladakh did not witness its usual snowfall during peak winter.

The absence of this iconic natural phenomenon has raised concerns about the impact of climate change on the region, with officials and residents grappling with the need for unconventional measures to preserve their cherished winter pastimes.

In a region known for its extreme weather conditions, the winter sports enthusiasts in Ladakh have turned to innovative solutions in response to unprecedented climate challenges so as to maintain the thickness of ice and keep it fit for playing in Kargil.

In response to the uncharacteristically mild weather conditions, the concerned sports officials in Kargil have deployed electric fans to uphold the integrity of Ice Skating Rinks, a popular attraction for tourists and locals alike.

This extraordinary step underscores the determination of the Ladakh UT to address the effects of climate change and the challenges it poses to the traditional way of life in the region.

Among other Ice playing fields, the fanning is being done in Khree Sultan Cho Sports Stadium Bimathang in Kargil since CEC Cup Ice Hockey Tournament is nearing besides the union territory of Ladakh is preparing for the 4th Edition of Khelo India Winter Games.

The decision to use electric fans to sustain the ice in skating rinks reflects the resourcefulness and adaptability of the community in the face of changing environmental dynamics, at the same time the crunches of climate change affecting the lives in the cold desert.

“With temperatures rising and the absence of natural snowfall, this measure exemplifies the commitment to preserving essential cultural activities in the midst of climate uncertainty,” said one of the Ice Hockey Players from Kargil.

He said the concerned Executive Councillor and sports officials emphasized that the use of electric fans serves as a temporary solution to ensure the viability of Ice Skating Rinks in the absence of customary snowfall.

“While the implementation of such measures may appear unconventional, it underscores the imperative to find innovative strategies to address the changing climate patterns impacting the region,” he asserted.

The news of the utilization of electric fans to sustain ice skating rinks in Ladakh has resonated with the local population, raising awareness about the unprecedented challenges posed by the evolving climate conditions in the region.

This development has sparked conversations about the need for long-term strategies to mitigate the impact of climate change and safeguard the traditional way of life in Ladakh, asserted a climate activist.

However, the use of electric fans to maintain Ice Skating Rinks is a testament to the creativity and determination; it also serves as a poignant reminder of the urgent need for sustainable practices since Ladakh used to be all white amid heavy snowfall even during the initiation of winter. As the cold desert confronts these unforeseen weather patterns, the utilization of electric fans to sustain thick ice represents a symbolic adaptation to the evolving climate challenges.

Secretary of Youth Services & Sports, UT Ladakh, Ravinder Kumar said, “We are keeping in view all the aspects and Winter Games will be held in Leh district. We hope a heavy snowfall in the coming days so that 4th Edition of the Khelo India Winter Games are held here smoothly.”

Not dipping of temperature in the region in winters is a concern which could affect the suave conduct of Games, Ravinder Kumar said and added that the administration is taking and is further ready to initiate all necessary measures to overcome the forthcoming hurdles.

On January 3, 2024, Sports Secretary, Ravinder Kumar presided over a meeting towards promoting sports excellence and fostering the winter sports culture in Ladakh, focused on planning, promoting, and organizing the 4th Edition of the Khelo India Winter Games (KIWG).

Pertinent to mention here that as preparations for the 4th Edition of the Khelo India Winter Games gain momentum, Ladakh eagerly anticipates welcoming athletes, officials, and sports enthusiasts to witness the thrill of winter sports in the enchanting Himalayan landscape of Ladakh, but the region is eagerly waiting for snowfall.

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