Stakeholders struggle to maintain stadiums
Call it faulty planning or lack of foresight, the Sports Authority of India (SAI), an arm of the sports ministry, is finding it difficult to carry forward the legacy of the Commonwealth Games, held last year from October 3-14.india Updated: Oct 03, 2011 01:36 IST
Call it faulty planning or lack of foresight, the Sports Authority of India (SAI), an arm of the sports ministry, is finding it difficult to carry forward the legacy of the Commonwealth Games, held last year from October 3-14.
A critical component of the legacy was the maintenance and utilisation of stadiums that were renovated with public money. Under the plan, the ministry had proposed to hand over the stadiums on a 10-year license to corporate bodies.Though the ministry ended up coughing up a huge sum, the public-private partnership (PPP) venture for the maintenance of stadiums has failed to take off.
Since a budget is yet to be allocated for maintenance, the expenditure is draining SAI of its resources. Director-general, SAI, Desh Deepak Verma, admitted that SAI's other schemes had been hit hard due to lack of funds. "We are finding it difficult," he told HT.
In the last six months, SAI has spent almost R2 crore on the maintenance of five major venues - Nehru Stadium, Indira Gandhi Sports Complex, Dhyan Chand National Stadium, Dr Karni Singh Shooting Ranges and the Shyama Prasad Swimming Pool Complex.
Over the next six months, SAI will roughly need R2 crore for the upkeep of the stadiums under its jurisdiction. Verma and his officers have been working hard to encourage corporate entities to come forward and make use of the facilities but the response has been lukewarm. "It would lessen our financial burden," said Verma.
Encouraging community participation in sports, aimed at nurturing a sporting culture in the Capital, was another key feature of the legacy plan. Even on that front, SAI is struggling. The 'come and play' scheme, which was initiated to encourage budding players to make use of facilities at the newly-built stadiums for a nominal fee, has evoked a lukewarm response.