Lasjan Sports Stadium in ruins due to waterlogging

Suhail Bhat
Srinagar, June 6: The continuous accumulation of sewage water in the Lasjan Sports Stadium on the outskirts of Srinagar has ruined the playground as authorities over the past few years have failed to stop water from entering into it.
As per the sports enthusiast, improper maintenance and continuous seepage of water into the stadium are causes for its dismal condition.”Water is seeping into the stadium from different directions because of a faulty drainage system around it. Several new residential houses have also come up in the surrounding marshy land that used to serve as the buffer, ” Ali Mohammad, a local said.
The locals alleged that ill-planned restoration work and soil filling that was carried a few years back has turned the stadium into a cesspool. They said a few months back the authorities once again carried some restoration work but that did not improve the condition of the field which continues to remain waterlogged.
Mohammad Owais, a sports enthusiast, said: “Ever since soil filling was carried on the sports field it has remained waterlogged. Problem is the authorities are not looking into real reasons. They keep filling the stadium with soil whenever people complain.” He rued the absence of a proper planning in tackling the issue, saying: “No one is trying to stop the water from entering the stadium or the faulty drainage surrounding the stadium.”
Sports lovers of the Lasjan and the adjoining areas lamented that they have already missed the last two sports seasons due to the negligence of the authorities and the poor condition of the playground. “Not a single tournament has been played here which has dampened the sporting spirit of the players. Who will play in a cesspool? The negligence of the authorities has transformed the ground into a wetland,” Danish Rather, a sportsman said.
Locals explained that authorities hastily started the restoration work of the playing field. “The drain often chokes and the water enters the stadium. There is no mechanism of dewatering available in the ground and the ground surface takes months to dry. Moreover, the excessive water nourished the weeds in the ground. The grass makes it impossible for the players to use the ground for any sports activities,” he said.
Mohammad Sable Rather, a local, said sportsmen used to throng the ground for sports activities. “A large number of players would come here for the sports activities. The footballers used to love the softness of the surface but the ground has lost all the glory now. None visits it these days. People dump waste inside the stadium,” he said.
He said these days, instead of players, grazing cows and murky waters are the only things visible on the ground and the condition has forced players to find another place for practice. “Only cows and dogs can be found in the field. The authorities did not properly employ the plan and wasted lots of public money on its restoration. They should seriously look into it,” he said.
Joint Director Jammu and Kashmir State Sports Council, when contacted, admitted that the problem of waterlogging has been plaguing the sports field and said that they have several times inspected the spot. “We have several times visited the spot but were unable to trace the reasons behind the seepage of water into the ground”, he said, adding a team of experts would be soon visiting the place to find a permanent solution to the problem.