Central Kashmir’s Manasbal Lake is once again open for training drills, more than three decades after raging militancy forced the Navy to abandon it.
Amid picturesque hills and pristine waters, over 100 National Cadet Corps (NCC) cadets, both from J&K and outside, on September 14 participated in exercises like sailing and boat pulling.
“It’s a historic day after a gap of 33 years. NCC training activities of the naval wing are being revived at the lake. Training in the area was suspended during the inception of militancy in the 1990s,” said Group Commander, NCC, Brigadier K.S. Kalsi.
The participants expressed excitement about the resumption of naval training in the scenic lake. “The administration and armed forces have managed to improve the situation to the extent that the Navy was able to resume and revive the training area,” added Brigadier Kalsi.
Meanwhile, J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on September 14 visited the forward areas of Poonch and was briefed on the overall security situation prevalent on Line of Control, counter-infiltration grid and operational preparedness.
“I salute the exemplary bravery of our armed forces. J&K is witnessing a new dawn of peace, progress and prosperity. India will give a befitting reply to anyone who tries to disturb peace, unity and integrity of the country,” the Lt. Governor said.
The Lt. Governor added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given special focus to the development and prosperity of people living along the border, especially the youth. “The young generation should come forward and avail the benefits of various schemes launched under ‘Youth Mission’ to become self-reliant and successful entrepreneurs,” he added.
The exercises, which also saw participation of female cadets, may help students from various parts of J&K interact with each other.
"It's an experience to do training here. It is slightly cold in the evenings but the lake provides a better opportunity to engage in different types of exercises," Joginder Singh, a cadet from Jammu's Doda, said.
The Manasbal Lake, located in central Kashmir's Safapora area in Ganderbal district, is a freshwater lake. The site was abandoned by the Navy in 1989.
"The NCC has been working in J&K since 1965 and would train cadets on the shores of Dal lake and Manasbal Lake. The security situation had forced us to shift the training module outside the Valley. However, such exercises here will motivate locals to join the NCC in the future," Brigadier Kalsi said.