iconimg Sunday, August 30, 2015

Sanjeev Bhalla, Hindustan Times
Jalandhar , July 30, 2013
The much hyped and state-of-the-art hostel, to house international sports figures, has been lying vacant for the past two and half years since it was built, as the state government is yet to issue any policy on its usage. Furnished with all the modern facilities, right from 27 air-conditioned rooms with LCD screens and latest equipments to hot water supply though solar energy, the state government had allocated R 2 crore for the project which took 18 months to complete.

"We want the hostel to be used in genuine purpose. But there are several modes for its operations before the department. We are considering all the options before giving the final nod," said sports director Shivdular Singh Dhillon.

The state government, especially deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, who is also the head of sports department, was reportedly looking for some dignitaries to inaugurate the hostel which seldom was used by World Kabaddi Cup participants.

HT enquiries revealed that the contractor of the hostel handed it over to the district sports department in January 2011 after it was built.

Paying the price of state government's indifference the hostel has already started decaying, HT team found while visiting the hostel.With damp walls and cracks in rooms and doors, the hostel, a brainchild of Olympian Pargat Singh, has turned out to be a haunted house in the city.

"All infrastructures have got ruined. Why is it remained closed for years when huge bucks were spent on building it?" rued a coach of sports department.

"Jalandhar had been the hub of sports activities and several players of national and international repute frequently visit the city. The objective behind establishing this hostel was to save money as the department had to pay hefty amounts to hotels to fix players' stay," Pargat said.

"We have not received any instructions about its usage from the sports department. We will maintain the hostel, once the government allows its operation," district sports officer, Rakesh Kaushal said.