The Uttarakhand government has decided to develop a sports village on a waste disposal site for the 38th National Games participants, but the decision has raised many eyebrows.
The national games will be held in 2018 in the state and the sports village, popularly called khel gaon, will be developed on a 4.047 hectare disposal site near Sahastradhara Road by the Mussoorie Dehradun Development Authority (MDDA). The official nod to the decision was given by the state sports department on Wednesday. This was followed by a site visit by the representatives of sports department, MDDA, Dehradun Municipal Corporation (DMC) and Uttarakhand Olympic Association. According to officials, the around 200 metric tons of solid waste is dumped on the site everyday.
Many feel the plan to develop khel gaon may get delayed as the waste disposal site cannot be used till an alternate site at Shishambara, around 20 kilometres from Dehradun, gets the state government's clearance. The alternate site was given clearance by the union ministry of environment and forests in December 2014. But, the work is yet to be started as it awaits the state government's nod, officials said
Dehradun municipal commissioner Harak Singh Rawat said the municipal body had sent a revised request to the government around two months ago. "But we're still waiting for the state government's green signal. Without it, we cannot go ahead with fresh tenders for a solid waste management project." The delay in clearance may directly delay the construction of khel gaon, he feared.
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and city mayor Vinod Chamoli criticised the state government and said its inaction on the alternate site only reflected a poor planning and a lack of vision at its end.
Congress leader and state sports minister Dinesh Aggarwal, however, pleaded ignorance about the issue and said, "… now that I know about it, I'll certainly pursue the matter with the state government so that the required clearance is provided as soon as possible." he said.