The recent announcement and preparations for the 4th World Cup Kabaddi have added to the quandary of the district administration which is yet to clear the bills for the World Cup Kabaddi-2012.
Of the total money spent on the extravaganza at the closing ceremony organised in Ludhiana in November 2012, Rs 1 crore is still "unpaid" against the bills, including that of refreshments served to VIPs, and water, seating and decoration arrangements.
Deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, who holds the sports portfolio, had recently announced that 25 countries would vie for the cup in a fortnight-long extravaganza.
Claiming that strict anti-doping guidelines would be enforced in the tournament and Punjab would seek more participation from Europe, Africa, America and Australia to give kabaddi a world-class status, Sukhbir had said that the government was trying to approach the International Olympic
Association to get kabaddi included in Olympics-2020. Despite repeated reminders, the administration has failed to get sanction for the pending bills in the last eight months. So much so that it has become embarrassing for senior officials to take phone calls of the people asking for payments.
It is learnt that deputy commissioner Rahul Tewari had sent a demi-official letter to the secretary sports, in this regard.
Interestingly, this year's closing ceremony is again scheduled to be held in Ludhiana in November and it is learnt that the service providers for the last world cup intend not to extend services to the administration.
Requesting anonymity, a service provider said, "It is a sorry state of affairs. When it comes to the state government, cheating a common man has become a habit with politicians. However, we have faith in the official machinery and are hopeful that they will get us the money."
Additional deputy commissioner Neeru Katyal, when contacted, said the money had to come from the sports department, adding, "I recently spoke to the district sports officer, who assured me that the money would be transferred shortly."