Excelsior Sports Correspondent
JAMMU, Aug 4: The concerned authorities have left Football turf at Mini Stadium, Parade, the Mecca of sports in Jammu at the mercy of God as the construction work has been stopped by the agency allotted with the job for quite a long time now, for the reasons better known to the authorities.
The ground which has the distinction of producing National and International soccer stuff from Jammu and Kashmir, besides hosting National level events in some other sports disciplines also and helping State/UT emerge champion in the games like Handball, Tennis Ball Cricket etc, is crying for the laying of Football turf, a project of around rupees five crore sanctioned earlier.
According to the sources, four months time was allotted to the Hyderabad based Sports Infrastructure Company, Great Sports in February 2021 for completion of the project, however, it has been observed that there has hardly been any developmental work at the turf for a few months now, thus the deadline has already extended by around two months.
“For a few months the pace of work at this much needed sports infra is near to zero. The Football fraternity of Jammu is at a loss to understand as to what will be the fate of Jammu’s prime sports infrastructural project if the work goes like this,” said former footballer Rakesh Khanna.
He said when the facility was worth playing earlier, the Club used to hold a good number of tournaments at this venue, adding that the delay in construction work has served as a stumbling block for the budding footballers to flourish and hampered the functioning of the organisers in holding mega Soccer events.
Another ace Footballer from Jammu said the delay in the completion of this project has left the budding footballers in the lurch as it is the most important training facility for young footballers of this region.
“Such working style of the authorities using different yardsticks in completing sports projects is shell-shocking. Why different yardsticks are used to raise infrastructural facilities in the twin regions of the Union Territory is a million dollar question? ,” opined the Footballer.
The Football fraternity of Jammu wished that the J&K Sports Council (JKSC), the executive agency of this project, to make its stand clear with regard to the establishment of the turf.
“One gets a feeling that there must be some problem at the administrative level, because the company allotted the job has already dumped the turf material at the site for a long time now,” said an ace Footballer on the condition of anonymity.
The otherwise grassy, smooth and picturesque Football facility, which presently wears a deserted look, is waiting in the wings for early installation of sanctioned turf to help organisers hold matches and guide young footballers to hone their skill in a congenial atmosphere.
This only Football ground in the entire Old Jammu City, has the distinction of producing International Footballers like Dr.Nirmolak Singh, Jassu, Charanjeet, Kamaljeet, Arun Malhotra, and likes, so it doesn’t deserve to be at the receiving end.
The dire need is that the UT Administration, which is very keen to enhance sports culture and promote sports in every nook and corner of Jammu and Kashmir, should serve strict instruction to the concerned authorities/agencies with regard to completion of the project at an earliest.
Assistant Executive Engineer (AEE) of Jammu and Kashmir Sports Council Imran said that the work of laying synthetic turf has been stopped due to rain and it will be resumed soon after the rainy season. “As the work of laying synthetic turf of Football resumed it will take two months to complete,” he added.
He further said that hopefully by the month of November, the Synthetic turf will be thrown open for players.
Excelsior Sports Correspondent