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HindustanTimes Tue,23 Sep 2014

Announced in 2011, sports complex yet to take shape

Aseem Bassi, Hindustan Times  Amritsar, August 04, 2014
First Published: 12:28 IST(4/8/2014) | Last Updated: 13:26 IST(4/8/2014)

Even as the city remains deprived of a major sporting facility, the multi-purpose sports complex project announced almost three years ago continues to be a non-starter.

Deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and former Amritsar parliamentarian Navjot Singh Sidhu had jointly announced the project in November 2011. Amritsar Improvement Trust was to arrange Rs. 17 crore for the multiple playing arenas in Ranjit Avenue.

When the foundation stone was unveiled, both Sukhbir and Sidhu had claimed that the complex would have three cricket grounds, a soccer field, athletics track, two volleyball courts, three courts each for tennis and basketball, skating rink and badminton courts.

Three years on, the work hasn’t moved an inch, while the site has turned into a garbage dump. The foundation stone stands as a reminder of what it could have been if Punjab local bodies minister Anil Joshi, who had once liked the idea, had worked on it.

Last year, revolting Sidhu had accused the state government of neglecting his pet projects for his Lok Sabha constituency. He said the project was also scuttled to kill one of his major dreams.

Countering the allegation, Sukhbir had said that he had bigger plans for sports in the region.

The city has tremendous sporting talents, but lacks modern sports infrastructure. A ramshackle Guru Nanak Stadium, decked up only during the Kabbadi World Cup, is the only place where athletes practice; therefore, the complex proposal had given the players a lot of hope, which now seems to be fading away.

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