Excelsior Sports Correspondent
JAMMU, Apr 6: The State of Jammu and Kashmir has a good number of outstanding cueists, who possess all that is required to blossom at the National and International scenes. However, for flourishing at the higher or the highest level, there is always a dire need of standard infrastructural facilities.
No-doubt, Billiards Hall at MA Stadium has been termed as the best Billiards and Snooker facility provided by the Government to the players in whole of Asia by Ashok Shandilya, World Billiards champion during his visit to Jammu in connection with a coaching assignment a decade ago, yet the Hall is presently in pathetic condition and crying for its renovation.
“I still remember World Billiards champion Mr Shandilya during his visit to Jammu saying that the Hall was the biggest and best in Asia. But one feels pity to see the present condition of the Hall. The renovation of the Hall is the need of the hour,” said one of the ace players of the State who is also office bearer of the Billiards and Snooker Association.
Sources said that the Hall is having temporary lighting facility as the electric circuit is totally damaged adding that the flooring of the Hall is also in dilapidated condition because of the water that pours in through the broken roof and the side walls at the time of rains and inclement weather conditions.
“The floor of the Hall is in such a bad shape that two tables out of three in the Hall are to be balanced by using bricks and other allied materials at their bases. The deteriorated condition of the floor leaves the cueists in the lurch,” said a National cueist on the condition of anonymity.
He further said that the toilets are also in bad shape, dirty and without proper water facility to add to the vows of the players.
A bunch of cueists while talking to EXCELSIOR expressed anguish over the condition of the existing Billiards and Snooker facility in the State and said that the Hall which had achieved the sobriquet as the ‘Biggest and Best Hall in Asia’ is in such a condition that the players rather than being lured by it are forced to be away from it.
They said that the Government had already made and approved an estimate for the renovation of this facility, but the initiation of the renovation work is nowhere in sight.
“Despite repeated requests and reminders, the State Governments (Present and the Governments before this dispensation) are yet to take any action with regard to renovation work of this facility,” players added.
They appealed to the Minister for Sports, Moulvi Imran Raza Ansari for immediate repair and renovation of the only Billiards Hall in the State as the Minister himself in a recent statement said that apart from developing new sports infrastructure, the renovation of the already existing infra is the priority of the Government.
It is observed that the renovation and developmental works of sports infrastructure have already been initiated across the State.
It is pertinent to mention here that the Secretary Jammu and Kashmir State Sports Council, Waheed-ur-Rehman Parra in a recent function organized at the Hall by the Jammu and Kashmir Billiards and Snooker Association, had assured the organizers that the renovation work of the Hall will be initiated within three to four months.
“From a few years now, one observes that Jammu and Kashmir is striving hard to carve a space on the country’s sports map. From last three years, J&K has won good haul of medals in many sports disciplines at the National scene. Gymnastics, Wushu, Fencing and Judo lead from the front. For creating niche in sports field, the basic need is the availability of standard infrastructural facilities. So, the time is ripe to develop and renovate sports infrastructure throughout the State,” expressed cueists.
Billiards Hall at MA Stadium needs renovation, redecoration
Excelsior Sports Correspondent