Range is our top priority, says Sports Ministry
A day after the Hindustan Times carried a report on the cancellation of the ISSF Shooting World Cup in March, Sports Ministry officials told HT that the “completion of the new Karni Singh Ranges was now top priority”.other Updated: Sep 19, 2009 00:31 IST
A day after the Hindustan Times carried a report on the cancellation of the ISSF Shooting World Cup in March, Sports Ministry officials told HT that the “completion of the new Karni Singh Ranges was now top priority”.
“The Sports Minister has received guarantees from the Central Public Works Department that the Ranges would be ready by December 31, 2009. The assurances were taken in the presence of National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) secretary-general Baljeet Sethi and vice-president Avtar Sethi,” said the ministry source.
He also said that in a first, the civil work and the installation of equipment would go on side by side and added that as a “goodwill gesture”, the shooting equipment manufacturing company Sius Ascor had airlifted the equipment at no extra cost. “The machinery is lying with us for installation,” he said.
According to the official, machinery for the 50m range would begin being installed by the first week of October, for the 25m by the second fortnight and for the 10m range by October end. “The Laporte machines for trap and skeet should be here by the first week of October and we'll begin digging trenches for them by the second fortnight,” he said. “The schedule of construction has us hoping that shooting can begin in select ranges by mid November.”
Meanwhile, the secretary-general of the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, Lalit Bhanot said that the Commonwealth Shooting Championships scheduled a month ahead of the now cancelled World Cup would take place as scheduled.
The NRAI incidentally, issued a media statement on Friday saying that the cancellation of the World Cup was not because of the slow pace of construction but “purely on the basis of withdrawal of the quota places (for the 2012 Olympics) from the World Cup by the International Olympic Committee.” But NRAI officials told HT they were forced to issue that statement “under pressure from authorities”. HT stands by its report that the NRAI secretary-general Baljeet Singh Sethi cited the slow pace of work as the main reason for the cancellation of the event.