Giving a massive impetus to the overall sports system across Jammu and Kashmir, the union territory’s Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha inaugurated sports infrastructure worth Rs. 49.78 crores and laid foundation of projects costing Rs 10.5 crores.
In a colourful event at Pologround, Sinha inaugurated a multipurpose indoor sports hall worth Rs 5 crores in the presence of his advisors Kewal Kumar Sharma, Farooq Khan, Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, and Baseer Ahmad Khan; Pandurang K. Pole, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir; Sarmad Hafeez, Secretary to the Government, Youth Services and Sports Department; Vijay Kumar, IG Kashmir; Dr. Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar; Dr. Saleem-ur-Rehman, Director General, Youth Services and Sports, J&K; Dr. Mohd Haseeb Mughal, SSP, Srinagar, and scores of enthusiastic children.
On the occasion, Sinha also laid the foundation stones for artificial rugby turf costing Rs 5 crores and a synthetic hockey turf worth Rs 5.5 crores.
Both projects will be completed in the next financial year. Sinha also e-inaugurated various Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP) projects and Jammu and Kashmir Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation (JKIDFC) projects worth Rs 17.03 crores and Rs 27.75 crores respectively.
While addressing the gathering on the sidelines of inauguration at Polo Ground, the Lt Governor observed that the youth of Jammu and Kashmir has immense sports potential with many players from the union territory representing the country in different sports.
“J&K is witnessing new revolution in sports sector. The union territory is equally equipped like other states of India and is ready to produce world-class sportspersons,” he said.
Acknowledging the sports potential of J&K, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sanctioned Rs 200 crores under the Prime Minister’s Development Package for upgradation of sports infrastructure and encouragement of budding talent in the field.
“The package, which was aimed at boosting sports infrastructure, training facilities and providing professional coaches, has brought a revolution in the sports sector of J&K,” Sinha said.
“With the combination of world class facilities, coaches and continuous monitoring and mentoring, we can certainly create the environment for empowerment, leadership and self-esteem among our children. Consistent mentoring and monitoring is needed so that neither sportspersons nor coaches face any shortage of resources”, he added.
He further suggested that expert coaches and performance-oriented staff be brought in so that “our players could match International standards”.
Sinha termed the recently established sports infrastructure and facilities in J&K as historic. “J&K is equally equipped like other states of India and is ready to produce world-class sportspersons,” he said.
“In addition to infrastructure and resources, world class training is indispensable for producing world class talent. Today’s Jammu & Kashmir is equally equipped like other states of the country and therefore, we can expect some top achievers in future events under Khelo India”, he remarked.
Laying stress on execution of works in a time-bound manner, the Lt Governor observed that apart from the projects inaugurated, 81 other projects are already completed with a cost of Rs 108 crore.
“Another Rs 30 crore have been released by the Government for construction of a playground in every panchayat of the UT. It is aimed that around 15 lakh youth be trained in various indoor and outdoor games to overhaul the sports ecosystem of J&K”, he asserted.
For promotion of sports at the grass root level, each panchayat has been provided with sports kits during the recently concluded Back to Village-3 as per the local requirements.
“I have been informed that during the last two years, Sports Council has imparted training to more than 6.5 lakhs sports persons in different sports discipline across J&K, which is praiseworthy. In addition to regular trainings, around 20 lakhs J&K players have been engaged in different sporting activities at Panchyat level, Block/Tehsil level, District, Division, State and National level, he said.
Now, he added, the results can be visible on ground. “81 players from the Union Territory of J&K have also represented the country during last years for which I congratulate Sports Council, Sports Department and all the associated officers and sports staff,” said the Lt Governor.
Taking cognizance of certain media reports about non-availability of sports equipment for young roller ball players from Nowhatta, Sinha directed the concerned authorities for providing necessary support to the sportspersons at the earliest.
“We need to take services of expert coaches, like Kuldeep Handoo, and other performance-oriented support staff to identify and hone the hidden talents of the region to help them achieve international performance standards”, he said.
Meanwhile, Wushu Coach, Kuldeep Handoo was also honoured by the Lt Governor for being the first in the J&K to receive the prestigious Dronacharya Award.
Various other sports personalities were also honoured by the Lt Governor and Sports equipment was also distributed among aspiring sportspersons.
Speaking on the occasion, Farooq Khan, Advisor to the Lt Governor reiterated the government’s commitment towards the development of overall sports environment in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
“Special focus has been laid on providing the sports persons of the UT with all the requisite facilities and the UT Government will put a comprehensive mechanism in place to replicate the similar sports infrastructure across the entire Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
PMDP projects worth Rs 17.03 crore inaugurated by Sinha includes four multipurpose indoor sports halls at – Shadipora Sumbal, Bandipora, Billawar, Kathua, Kotrenka Rajouri and Samba.