Incomplete indoor stadia angers sports lovers in South Kashmir

Suhail Bhat
PULWAMA, Mar 11: The delay in the completion of the long-awaited multipurpose sports stadia in South Kashmir’s Shopian and Pulwama districts have dampened the spirits of the sports lovers in these areas.
The sports stadia were established to provide multi-utility sports facilities for the youth of these South Kashmir districts, but a delay in completion has left them in despair.
Coming up in Rajpora area of Pulwama and Shopian, the projects are being executed by Jammu and Kashmir Projects Corporation Company with a predicted cost of around Rs 4 crores each. The projects began in 2017 and were supposed to get completed in two years, but four years have already passed.
While the Pulwama sports stadium, as per officials, is in the final stage, the Shopian stadium will take another six-months to get executed. “The work on Shopian stadium got delayed as authorities took over a year and a half to make land available for the project. 90% of work is complete in Rajpora stadium and we have issued tenders for the pending part,” Masood Ahmed Gongoo, General Manager JKPCC Pulwama told Excelsior.
He said that work on both the projects was progressing at an even pace until 5th August last year. The work resumed partly but was then suspended because of COVID-19 pandemic. “The work is ongoing on both the projects right now and we are hopeful to complete them promptly,” he said.
The sports lovers said the overstretching of the project has damped the spirits of the youth who were elated with the setting up of the facilities in their respective areas. “We were hoping a boom in sports activities with this facility but lag in completion has discouraged us,” Mohammad Ayoub, a resident said. He said that there have been no advancements in the project for the last year.
The locals maintain that the Government’s failure to execute the project on time punctures their claims of enhancing the sports infrastructure in the Valley. They said the construction work has been going on at a slow pace right from the onset resulting in overstretching of the project.
“The project, which would have been completed in two years, has already moved into the third year. I don’t see it getting finished in next one year,” Basit Ahmad, a local from Shopian said.