Foundation stone laid in year 2010, crores spent but stadium still unfit for sports activities

A view of incomplete Nowshera Sports Stadium.
A view of incomplete Nowshera Sports Stadium.

Incomplete Nowshera Sports Stadium
Goldi Sharma
JAMMU, Mar 26: The Nowshera Sports Stadium, whose foundation stone was laid in the year 2010, is still unfit for holding sports activities despite spending of several crores of rupees in the last 10 years.
The foundation stone of the stadium was laid by former Youth Services and Sports Minister RS Chib in the year 2010. During the foundation stone laying ceremony, it was announced that the new stadium would boost the young generation to choose sports as a career in the hilly areas of district Rajouri .
Since then several crores of rupees were spent for its development and maintenance by the department concerned but due to lack of planning, under-utilization of funds and poor maintenance beside other factors, the sports aspirants of the hilly area are still deprived to use the facility.
“Recently, the department concerned spent huge funds to install 10 high frequency High Mast lights around the stadium to hold day and night matches but the potholes, uneven ground and unwanted grass and dusty pale surface made it to appear as a draught hit agriculture field rather than a stadium. Such pathetic condition of the ground defeats the purpose of installing these mast lights”, said a player who visits the Stadium regularly for practices.
The officials of Jammu and Kashmir Sports Council (JKSC) pleading anonymity informed Excelsior that the Council recently carried out construction of several facilities to the tune of Rs 48 lakhs inside the stadium.
“These construction works include construction of a changing room, earth filling and blocking the entry of raining water by raising protection wall at some portions. The work is almost completed. More work would be possible only once more funds would be allocated”, the official said.
However, during a visit to Nowshera, Divisional Commissioner Jammu had also visited the Stadium and had announced that the construction of boundary wall would be carried out by Public Works Department (PWD) and rest of the work would be carried out by the JKSC.
Just after the announcement of the Division Commission, the PWD had started the construction of the boundary wall but after laying plinth, they abandoned the works due to paucity of the funds. Now the question arise if the department had no sufficient funds then why it started the work earlier and later left it unfinished.
“The announcement of Div Com remained confine to papers only as no such work has been completed so far due to which the stadium has become a grazing ground for stray animals,” said sources, adding that stray animals could be found roaming in the stadium without any hindrance.
Sources further said that it was not the story of Nowshera stadium but three more stadiums, one at Kalakote and two in Rajouri have also been facing the same official neglect.
“In case of these three stadiums, most of the development works have either been left incomplete or quality works were compromised that too under the noose of the Lt Governor’s administration”, said sources while wishing anonymity.
The callousness on part of the Council as well as the Ground maintenance could be gauged from the fact that since last one decade, the ground staff has utterly failed to demarcate the field for respective games, as a result of which the players were randomly choosing the field for their games.