Ministry drags feet on policy | india | Hindustan Times
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Ministry drags feet on policy

The country's sports fraternity, particularly those from the Capital, might have to wait for some more time before they can actually make use of the international-level facilities built for the Commonwealth Games. Navneet Singh reports.

india Updated: Feb 05, 2011 23:07 IST
Navneet Singh

The country's sports fraternity, particularly those from the Capital, might have to wait for some more time before they can actually make use of the international-level facilities built for the Commonwealth Games.

The sports ministry's first meeting on Monday to deliberate on "how to make the best use of the infrastructure" might just fizzle out, as two of the four top sportspersons nominated to the six-member panel - athletics legend PT Usha and footballer Bhaichung Bhutia - would be skipping the meeting.

Usha told HT she was informed quite late about the meeting. Speaking from Kerala, she said, "I am yet to know about the outline of the concept. If the ministry wants me to attend a meeting, it should inform me at least 10 days in advance."

Bhutia is expected to play a charity match this weekend in Abu Dhabi, hence may not be available. Former India hockey captain Dilip Tirkey and world champion boxer MC Marykom are the other two members.

The committee, headed by secretary (sports) Sindhushree Khullar, also includes veteran journalist K Dutta. Since October last, all venues under the Sports Authority of India (SAI) have been scarcely used. The newly laid track at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium had been out of bounds for athletes.

On Saturday, sports minister Ajay Maken said the government had constituted a six-member committee, which would suggest ways to make the SAI venues operational.

The members have been asked to give suggestions within four weeks.

The minister also said the concept of public-private partnership, floated earlier, had taken a backseat, as the government was looking as using the venues for sporting activities only. "There is also a proposal to set up academies to groom budding players," the minister said.

As far as the maintenance is concerned, of the five stadiums under SAI, three will be handed over to NDMC for upkeep, while the others will be maintained by CPWD.