All except one indoor sports halls still incomplete despite lapse of extended deadlines

Outside view of Bhagwati Nagar indoor Stadium.
Outside view of Bhagwati Nagar indoor Stadium.

Goldi Sharma Asgotra
JAMMU, Jan 9: Except one, all indoor sports halls in each district of Jammu province, announced under a special package by the Union Government in 2016-17 budget, are still incomplete even after the lapse of extended deadlines.
The Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports had announced a Special Development Package worth Rs 200 crores for Jammu and Kashmir in the financial year 2016-17 for the construction of indoor sports halls and other infrastructure.
Under the package, an amount of Rs 88 crores was allocated for construction of indoor sports halls in each district while Rs 80.86 crores were allocated to two premier sports stadiums viz-a-viz MAM Stadium Jammu and Bakshi Stadium Srinagar. Rs 6 crores were allocated for Water Sports Infrastructure and some other infrastructure. However, most of these projects are still incomplete.
Sources in Jammu and Kashmir Sports Council informed that for the construction of these indoor sports halls, 10 locations were identified in Jammu division, which include Bhagwati Nagar in Jammu district, Ramnagar of Udhampur district, Gool of Ramban, Billawar of Kathua, Samba, Poonch, Kishtwar, Doda, Reasi and Rajouri.
Out of these 10 indoor sports halls, the construction of four sports halls viz-a-viz Ramnagar, Bhagwati Nagar, Samba and Billawar was taken up by Jammu and Kashmir Sports Council. The construction of five others at Rajouri, Doda, Reasi, Kishtwar and Ramban was allotted to Jammu and Kashmir Project Construction Corporation (JKPCC) while the construction of indoor hall in Poonch district was allotted to Public Works Department.
The Union Government had approved the time period of two years for the completion of these indoor halls and this deadline expired with the closing of financial year 2017-18. “Till the expiry of first deadline, not even a single indoor hall was completed. Later the deadline was extended for one year but the result was again the same as none of the hall was completed”, sources said.
It was only in the financial year 2019-20 that the Jammu Kashmir Sports Council succeeded to complete one hall of Ramnagar in Udhampur district, which was recently inaugurated by Union Minister Dr Jatinder Singh, sources said.
The remaining three halls being constructed by JKSC are also almost completed but it would take time to make them available for sports activities. During a visit to Bhagwati Nagar’s indoor hall, it was found that the construction of indoor hall’s building structure along with the pavilion was almost completed. The whitewash works and mast lights’ installation was going on but the earth filling work around the hall, was yet to be done by the executing agency. “Even after the completion of all works, the hall will be thrown open for the indoor sports’ activities once it is officially inaugurated and date of the same is yet to be finalized by the Council”, sources said.
Similarly, sources added, the indoor halls of Billawar and Samba are also almost completed but still awaiting to be officially inaugurated.
Incharge of Doda and Ramban districts Executive Engineer of JKPCC, Vinod Gupta informed that the construction works of both the district sports hall have been halted due to funds’ paucity. “Out of Rs 400 lakhs for the each hall, the Council had sanctioned only Rs 160 lakhs each for Doda and Ramban indoor halls. As per sanctioned amount, the construction work has been completed but for the remaining works, the department has been repeatedly inviting the tenders, which are not getting matured due to low cost of works”, he explained.
He further informed that that the issue had been taken up before the Advisor to Governor K K Sharma as well as Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Sanjeev Verma during their tour to the districts.
Executive Engineer of JKPCC in Kishtwar, Raman Kumar informed that the construction work was at its initial stage due to hostile weather conditions as well as delayed tendering process. “In a recent meeting, we promised the Deputy Commissioner Kishtwar to complete the remaining works within six months, if everything goes well”, he said.
The Executive Engineer of JKPCC in District Rajouri, Arshad Hussain Mir; Xen Reasi, Kishore Kumar and Assistant Executive Engineer (AEE) of PWD in Poonch, Imtiaz Mir informed that almost 90 percent works of Indoor halls have been completed but some finishing works were pending. They assured that very soon, all the buildings would be officially handed over to the Sports Council.