After Hindustan Times highlighted the sorry state of affairs at the Sports Authority of India Training Centre (STC), Bhiwani, authorities seem to have become proactive.
The Bhiwani centre has produced the likes of Olympic medallist Vijender Singh and Arjuna awardee Akhil Kumar, and HT, in its article dated November 29, 'Your heroes live in pathetic conditions', revealed the shabby conditions there.
The officials now have sanctioned funds for whitewashing and basic maintenance work. "I have already sanctioned the money for the whitewashing and even told the official in-charge to get the basic maintenance work done, including repairing the toilets doors. As per the MoU between the SAI and Haryana Government, it's state government's duty to maintain the building. Besides, the building belongs to a trust, so we can't do any construction work in it. So we have limitations. Still we are trying our best to maintain it," said Mukesh Kumar, Director In-Charge, Northern Regional Centre, Sonepat.
"We have even written to Haryana Government to shift the centre temporarily to the nearby Government College Hostel building and asked the trust to hand over the building to SAI, so that we can do construction work in the existing building," he added.
About the absence of the athletics coach since March 31, Mukesh Kumar said, "The athletics coach (O.P Singmar) was transferred to Bhiwani centre a three months back, but he has not joined. We have written to him and asked him to join immediately. If he doesn't, we will tell the head office to hold back his salary."
"We have also sanctioned Rs one lakh for the equipment and asked the centre to send us their remaining demand. In fact, we have sanctioned the said amount for equipment to all the STCs that come under Sonepat Regional centre," he added.