Illicit activities go unabated

Dilipidated condition of sports stadium at Gurha Slathia in District Samba.
Dilipidated condition of sports stadium at Gurha Slathia in District Samba.

Gurha Slathia stadium a victim of official apathy

Ajay Raina
JAMMU, Sept 21: Despite tall claims of the Government to develop stadiums in every nook and corner of the Union Territory of the Jammu and Kashmir, the one sanctioned around one year back in Gurha Slathia area of district Samba is craving for official attention.
As per the sources, only available field for the children and players of Gurha Slathia and nearby areas is in dilapidated condition due to the official neglect.
The construction work of the stadium was started around one year back, but it is not completed till today due to the reasons best known to the authorities at the helm of affairs in the concerned department. The pathetic and dilapidated condition of the stadium is creating hurdles in harnessing the potential of the youth of the area.
“We went everywhere pleading for renovation of the playfield but of no avail. We too want to make it to the big but owing to the lack of proper infrastructure our efforts fail to yield the results. Besides, persistent attempts of bringing the matter into the notice of the authorities proved fruitless owing to their cold response,” said scores of cricketers while talking to the EXCELSIOR.
They further added that the contractor stopped the construction work around 8 months back and iron rods and other construction material are lying everywhere on the ground, which can prove fatal for the players even if they venture out to practice in the absence of required infrastructure.
“There is huge grass on the ground and snakes are seen regularly which is a threat to our lives”, they said and asked if any player gets injured by the construction material lying in the ground or hurt due to snake bite, who will be responsible for that.
“We had to play a match of an ongoing cricket tournament at Gurha Slathia stadium. However, when we entered the ground, it was in pitiable condition as there was huge grass on the ground. Moreover, it was the show of cows and buffaloes rather than players and umpires,” said a player of the area on the condition of anonymity.
An underground water tank and some drains have also been constructed on the ground, which also pose grave risk to the players, he further said, adding “the stadium is only for the name sake because of the callous attitude of the J&K Sports Council”.
The sports lovers alleged that gambling and other illegal activities are at rise in the stadium, as there is no check over the visitors.
“Some people also indulge in consuming alcohol inside this under construction stadium considering it as a safer place”, they added.
When contacted, Executive Engineer J&K Sports Council Joginder Pal told the Excelsior that a reminder has been served to the concerned contractor to resume the construction work of the stadium. “Within couple of days, if the contractor fails to resume the construction work, the same will be allotted to somebody else”, he informed.
The deadline for the completion of work is December 2020, he added.