No lessons learnt, NRAI picks up faulty plan
The shoddy construction of the 10m shooting range at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex for the Pune Commonwealth Youth Games not only left the country embarrassed, it also resulted in waste of funds, reports Saurabh Duggal.india Updated: Dec 30, 2008 23:01 IST
The shoddy construction of the 10m shooting range at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex for the Pune Commonwealth Youth Games not only left the country embarrassed, it also resulted in waste of funds.
But instead of learning from the experience, the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) has again entrusted DK Shukla, technical in-charge of constructing the Pune range, with the preparation of ranges for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
The startling fact is that Shukla has submitted the faulty Pune plan for the Games and the Sports Ministry is likely to go by it for constructing the 10m final ranges at the Dr Karni Singh complex.
This time too, the roof of the range will be translucent, allowing copious amount of sunlight, much against International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) rules. In order to make the range multi-purpose, 'drop-curtains' have been proposed after 10 metres so that once they are removed, the range can be used for 50m shooting events.
According to ISSF rules, no air movement or variation of light can happen in the closed room. The translucent roof will not maintain uniform light and the drop curtains --- if they are the same as in Pune --- will not restrict air movement.
“The shooters faced a lot of problems in Pune because of the translucent roof and drop curtains and shot low scores. We don't know why the NRAI has appointed the same person for building the 10m final ranges at Karni Singh,” questioned a senior Sports Authority of India (SAI) official.
According to the plan submitted to SAI, there will be a separate 25m and 10m range that can be converted into 50m by lifting the curtains.
When contacted, Shukla said, “We are going for a 50m outdoor range and as per the rules, a minimum 45m has to be kept open. To accommodate that rule we have made the 10m roof translucent and it will be considered ‘open’ when converted to 50m.”
Even if one considers the translucent roof as 'open', it would surely spoil the 10m show in which India has stalwarts like Abhinav Bindra and Gagan Narang.
Why can't the NRAI suggest an air-conditioned indoor range that can accommodate 10, 25 and 50m without the interference of outside light?
“An indoor range is acknowledged at most world meets, but when you compromise on cost, you can't have the best,” explained Shukla. “What I have proposed is the best in the allotted budget,” he added.
The question that crops up is why would the government tighten its purse for a few crores when it is spending a colossal sum on the Games?