The National Games in Ranchi are less than a fortnight away but the sportspersons are still waiting to get their railway bookings done. The situation - the result of a mix-up between the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and Railways - has not only delayed the awarding of travel concessions and subsequent booking of tickets, it has left the state Olympic associations and players in the lurch.
"We have been trying to convince the railways divisional manager in Ambala that the necessary travel documents related to concession have been attached with the application but the issue is pending," a top Punjab Olympic Association told HT on Monday. "The IOA has been apprised and it will take the matter up with Railways," he added.
The IOA too maintained that necessary documents had been furnished and hoped the issue would get sorted out. "The documents have been sent to the concerned department. There shouldn't be a delay in getting reservations done," said top IOA official, ASV Prasad.
The Railways had a different version to narrate. "The file has been sent for approval and it will take one or two days more, said Ram Dev Rai, an official handling the case.
With time running out, the participants are worried. International judoka Yashpal Solanki (of Punjab) said, "Lack of reservation will have an effect on the players' performance." Solanki, a gold medallist in the previous two editions, is now contemplating booking an air ticket for the February 12-26 Games. "I want to maintain my gold-winning streak and for that I need to reach in time and a proper state."