J&K fails to utilize PMDP Sports Fund

When it is the issue of promotion of sports , creating necessary infrastructure, utilization of assets created for sports activities and providing the requisite facilities to sportspersons, the UT of Jammu and Kashmir is found wanting in addressing these issues in an expected considerable way. As if it is any less in taking entire sports structure and associated matters in a casual or at best its ”own” routine way , it is found that the funds allocated for building sports infrastructure and logistics under Prime Minister Development Package (PMDP) have not been fully utilized. These observations have been made by Parliamentary Standing Committee on Education, Women, Children, Youth and Sports. Such a scenario is there as found out by the Panel despite Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha having sanctioned Rs.200 crore last year only under PMDP for as many as 31 new projects connected with sports activities , facilities and promotion as also 22 multipurpose indoor sports halls , up-gradation of some existing projects connected thereto and the like.
In fact, when the Special Package for overall development of the (then state of ) Jammu and Kashmir -PMDP- was announced in December 2017, that comprised Rs.260 crore for Sports exclusively as it was felt that there was much required to be done almost in all spheres of sports – infrastructure, facilities for coaches and players, motivational and incentive oriented schemes etc. No doubt , under the PMDP , a lot of infrastructure almost in every district is raised but either that is not fully completed and if so, the same is not utilized for the specific purposes . Curiously enough , although funds under the Package are released without any ado but the Parliamentary panel , for instance , has found that allocated funds for the period 2021-22, till December ending , no expenditures were made. The report having been, as per the procedure, tabled in the Parliament about the findings of the Panel, expresses serious concern for such a “gross under-utilization” of funds and perhaps the importance thereof not having been underlined by the concerned UT Sports Authorities. Not that the Panel has made these observations only but suggested as to how specific reasons for such a deliberate goof could be traced. Hence, in its considered opinion, it has asked the Sports Authority of India (SAI) to identify specific reasons for taking both the importance of funds allocated and the sports in totality so casually by the UT authorities.
Undoubtedly lot of existing sports infrastructure is developed to suit the needs of the sportspersons especially for indoor sports but in the absence of motivation and identifying the talent under mission mode , less of voluntary tendency to play emerges and thus use the infrastructure . If it would have been otherwise, there could have been lot of pressure from the sportspersons for providing more facilities hence more facilities and infrastructure hence spending the funds under the PMDP .
Sportspersons , on the other hand, also need to realise that there is a general paradigm shift in the overall approach by the UT Government to promote the sports of all hues for which even recently, slew of some guidelines were issued including eligible players under 44 recognised sports to be considered for Government jobs, both Gazetted as well as non- Gazetted. This yearly job -quota must be motivation enough for the upcoming talent to choose sports as a career too . What we mean , again , is more the interest shown seriously by more and more players , a sort of pressure could be automatically exerted to find out ways and means for more supports and facilities which require speedy but meticulously spent funds under the Package. What is, however, required in the light of the observations and suggestions made by the Parliamentary Panel is addressing those areas of Sports related infrastructure , facilities and promotion which are found to be suffering on account of the slack approach of the Government at various levels, especially under-or even no utilization of funds under PMDP.