Last year, the Narendra Modi government announced major plans to reach out to the youth of Jammu and Kashmir through sport. However, the central government initiative to overhaul sports infrastructure in the troubled state is yet to get off the ground as no Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) has shown interest in submitting bids for the projects, worth around Rs 300 crore.
Monday was the last date for submitting and opening of the bids.
“We have not received a single bid till today (June 8). This is why we have had to extend the date of tenders till June 23,” an official with the sports ministry’s department which is handling the tenders for the project, told HT.
Ministry officials have no explanation for the indifference of the PSUs.
The sports infrastructure development plan for Jammu and Kashmir comes under the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan (RGKA). Under the project, there will be reconstruction and upgradation of Srinagar’s Bakshi Stadium, including the construction of an eight-lane synthetic athletic track.
Tenders were invited from PSUs and state PSUs last month for laying a synthetic hockey turf, building a swimming pool and a multi-purpose indoor venue in Srinagar.
If PSUs show keenness, districts like Anantnag, Handwara, Pulwama and Pattan will have modern, multi-purpose halls where local talent can train in table tennis, squash, badminton, weightlifting, basketball, volleyball and wrestling.
During his first visit to the state last year, Prime Minster Narendra Modi had said it was his priority to win the hearts of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and that had to be achieved through development and welfare activities, including in the Jammu region.
The sports ministry had invited tenders for the construction of eight-lane synthetic athletic tracks as well as hockey turfs at the MA Stadium and GGM Science College in Jammu, besides construction of multi-purpose halls in Kathua, Doda, Reasi, and Bhour Camp.
Last month, Jammu and Kashmir sports minister, Moulvi Imran Raza Ansari, had declared that revival of sports activities in the state was the government’s top priority.