Srinagar, Jan 14: The proposed open-air gym centre at Pulwama town’s Shaheed Park and the multipurpose sports hall at Tanchabagh sports stadium in the Pampore area in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district have seen no progress despite the passage of nearly a year since the projects were listed in the vision document of the district.
The gym and sports hall, which were supposed to be built at a cost of Rs 5 lakh and Rs 50 lakhs, respectively, would have improved people’s quality of life. The open-air gym would have benefited people of all ages, especially the elderly and women, and would have reduced the risk of lifestyle diseases. The multipurpose sports hall, on the other hand, would have boosted indoor games, especially in the winter.
The delay in the establishment of much-needed facilities has dashed the hopes of people who were eagerly awaiting the establishment of the facilities in their respective areas. “An indoor sports hall is a need of the hour, especially during the winters when the ground is covered with snow or conditions are not suitable for playing. I have seen football players here removing snow from the ground to play during the winter”, Adil Ahmad, a local, said.
He further said that an indoor sports hall would have boosted indoor games like snooker and table tennis. “I love to play snooker, but I often can’t afford it because it is expensive to play at a private centre. The indoor hall would have provided us with such a facility at an affordable price”, he said, adding that the sports hall would have provided a venue for young people to use their energies constructively rather than engage in drugs.
Similarly, the establishment of an open-air gym would have assisted people in combating the lifestyle diseases that are on the rise in the region. “Everyone cannot afford to go to a private gym, and a facility like this would have assisted people in improving their health without spending too much money. Such a facility is urgently required. People also have easy access to the park,” said Umar Ahmad, a local, adding that installing modern exercise equipment in the park would encourage people to exercise more.
A Youth Services and Sports official, Syed Noorul Haq, admitted that the construction of an open-air gym has been stalled. “I was asked a year ago to prepare a report on the project, which would include the cost and equipment required for the facility. I submitted it, but I never heard anything after that”, he said.
When asked about the multipurpose sports hall, he stated that he was unaware of the proposal because “the project has not reached me so far.”