Excelsior Sports Correspondent
SRINAGAR, May 4: In a display of total apathy, Jammu and Kashmir State Sports Council has allowed construction of a stage and wooden playing arena in the middle of its only lawn tennis facility in the Valley, which has resulted in damage to the court that came up in 2013.
The playing arena has been constructed inside the hard court tennis facility at Gindun playground at Rajbagh for conducting the Bocce Federation Cup 2018. Bocce is a game played in several European and Latin American countries and mostly finds favour with Italians and migrants from that country.
The organizers of this sport have also been allowed to set up a huge tent on iron poles inside the tennis court, causing damage to the playing surface. The tennis players of Kashmir are aghast with the development and accused the Sports Council of promoting unknown sports in the Valley for reasons better known to them.
The Tennis Federation of Kashmir has expressed shock over the incident and demanded that matter should be looked into and damages should be recovered from the organizers of the event and the official who allowed holding of Bocce Federation Cup 2018 inside the tennis court.
Rouf Ahmad, a tennis player said that for the last two years, players have been requesting the Council to repair the damages to the facility caused by floods in 2014. “However, instead of carrying out the repairs, they are allowing activities inside the court that will cause further damage to it”, he added.
“We only step inside the Court when we are wearing proper tennis shoes,” said Yasir Ahmad, a tennis player.
“The players have been pooling money since 2016 to pay for cleaning the court and also for running repairs. The council could not get even the nets repaired and we had to do it ourselves,” said Shakeel ur Rehman, Vice President TFK.
Secretary State Sports Council and PDP leader Waheed-Ur-Rehman Parra when contacted said that he will get the tent and other construction material removed from the tennis court immediately. He said that action has been initiated against the staff for allowing such an activity inside the tennis Court. “I have initiated action in this regard and issued strict instructions that such mistakes should not be repeated in future,” Parra said.