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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

North India

‘Big bore’ wasteful expenditure
Ajai Masand, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, September 17, 2009
First Published: 01:10 IST(17/9/2009)
Last Updated: 01:12 IST(17/9/2009)

Read this. The government is spending Rs. 50 crore (or Rs. 500 million) of taxpayer’s money on a range that will not be used after the Commonwealth Games end.

Since full bore as an event is not recognised by the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) — and is only part of the Commonwealth Games (CWG) curriculum --- no one in India plays the sport.

There are three categories in big bore — 300 yards, 600 yards and 1000 yards — it and requires a field with a length of one km and special rifles and ammo to cover that range.

In fact, the core group of 15 big-bore shooters was shortlisted only a fortnight ago. The participants still don't know how and where to train, as there are no guns or ammunition available for the event in India.

Sports Ministry sources call the sport a white elephant.

“The initial budget for construction of the range was Rs. 25 crore but the cost will reach Rs. 50 crore once it nears completion. If the cost of land is factored in, the range will cost us almost Rs. 200 crore,” said a ministry official. “Imagine, we are spending Rs. 200 crore for an event and India has absolutely no chance of winning it.”

Since big bore is a sanctioned CWG event, India doesn't really have much of a choice. As sports manager for shooting, New Zealander Graeme Hudson, said: “It’s part of the Games. Isn't Delhi creating infrastructure for lawn bowling, rugby, etc which are not part of India’s sports curriculum?"

True, but those structures can be used for other sports later. A big-bore range will serve no purpose in future. In Kaderpur's full-bore range, electronic targets will be placed at a distance of 300, 600 and 1000 yards. Using conventional targets manually placed at the three distances would have been a simple way to cut costs. Or the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games example could have been followed by building temporary ranges that could have been dismantled later.

"We talk about creating infrastructure for the next generation but who will take up the sport when there are no guns or ammo available," said an NRAI official. The good part? Unlike the main Karni Singh Ranges, this one will be completed on time.


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