HC directs for completion of sports projects, engagement of coaches

Excelsior Correspondent
Srinagar, Nov 5: The High Court has directed the Governments of Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh to complete various pending Sports projects and engagement of training coaches for various sports streams in a timeline manner at the earnest and submit Action Taken Report before the court.
Hearing PIL on intensification and expansion of sports facilities and infrastructure in both the UTs, the Division Bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Puneet Gupta directed the Chief Secretaries of both UTs to ensure that strict timelines for completion of various projects as also the engagement of coaches for training is strictly implemented in a right earnest.
The direction followed after the report submitted by Secretary J&K Legal Services Authority regarding availability of sports facilities and availability of coaches therein. The report reveals that some construction projects are underway, but most of the projects would be completed in a time bound manner.
On appointment of coach for training in various sports Court said: “In our view this matter requires urgent examination”. Court has noted that it is waiting for attention by the authorities to the requirement of coaches in various sports disciplines in all the districts.
Court recorded that Sports Federations from across the country have expressed their willingness to provide coaching facilities to both the UTs. Yet these issues appear to have remained undressed.
The Ministry of Youth Services and Sports Government of India is under directions to take steps and engage with the various sports bodies in the country to ensure that they are able to get the best training for sports coaches in both UTs.
Court observed that it is unfortunate that despite the matter having remained pending over a year, the authorities are in a position to inform this court about any concrete measures.
Ministry of Youth Services and Sports was necessitated to place a proposal in this regard before the court.
Secretaries of the District Legal Services Authorities of J&K on the directions of court have ascertained the availability of sporting facilities in their respective districts and verified sporting infra projects underway and the status thereof and submitted the same to Secretary Legal Services Authority J&K M K Sharma who in consolidation of these reports submitted a report before the court.
Up-gradation and creation of sports infrastructure received from J&K and other States/UTs are examined by the Department of Sports for release of funds as per the provisions inherent in the Khelo India Scheme. The total approved outlay of the said scheme for the three years since October 2017 is Rs. 1756 Crore out of which Rs. 525 Crores are earmarked for infrastructure.
It was previous disclosed before the court that a sum of Rs. 14.30 crore has been released to Technical Education and Youth Service and Sports Department of the J&K vide sanction order dated 16th July 2018 for conducting sporting activities/sports competitions and a special package being the Prime Minister Development Package (PMDP) has been sanctioned for enhancement of sports infrastructure facilities in J&K which inter alia included a Rs. 200 crore package for sports infrastructure facilities of coaches/trainers/furniture/competition/incentives/prize money.
Jammu and Kashmir has till date received 17.20 percent from the Central Government to the total funds released in the entire country towards development of sports infrastructure and organizing sports competitions in the States and UTs.