Instead of holding sports tournaments, the Guru Gobind Singh Stadium here has been left to host national livestock championships and the sports facility has lost its glory in just six years after its completion.
The stadium will reportedly host the livestock championship, which will be held from January 8 to 12 on Maghi Mela. It is waiting for funds for its proper upkeep and for players as well.
The government preferred to hold fourth World Kabaddi Cup tournament in a small stadium at Doda and spent lakhs of rupees on that instead of choosing the Muktsar stadium as a venue.
"The reason may be political also, as Guru Gobind Singh stadium at Muktsar was founded by Captain Amarinder Singh, the then chief minister in 2005. Moreover, Muktsar is also being represented by Congress MLA Karan Brar, so the ruling alliance seems to have attached almost no importance to the stadium," claimed a source, wishing not to be named.
The stadium, which is situated slightly off the Muktsar-Kotkapura main road behind the government college, seems to be totally neglected. The floods in August have damaged it further. "As rainwater stood at 2-foot, the stadium's stairs were damaged at several places besides the stage," a source said.
"There is a wild growth all over the stadium and sanitary conditions are bad because the sports department has deployed only one person as sweeper who doubles up as a watchman. Most posts of ground markers are also lying vacant. The stadium has also not got any funds of late for its repair and maintenance," the sources said.
"The district administration holds the national livestock championships in the stadium, which cannot be justified because cattle damage the stadium and playground. Several poles are erected on the ground for livestock competitions, which leave deep holes on the ground," claimed a source.
The distance of the stadium from the town coupled with government's "indifferent" attitude also contributes to its poor upkeep.
A police employee who has been allotted some rooms in the stadium said, "Being outside the town, most people, including the girls, do not come to the stadium. The surrounding area is also deserted and does not have proper boundary wall. Earlier, drug addicts and others used to come to this place, but they have stopped coming since we have taken shelter in stadium rooms."
Most rooms constructed in the stadium to provide accommodation to players, who come from far-off places, are also neglected. The windowpanes and doors of most rooms are broken and they are in a shambles.
"We are working towards finding a solution to the problems in the stadium. The funds are also a problem for us. Rain has caused damage to the stadium," said Sukhdev Singh Bhullar, district sports officer.
"We are providing funds to repair the stadium. It is the most suitable and spacious place to hold livestock championship as it is outside the town and is situated on the main road. There is no other suitable option due to lack of space in the town," said Parmjeet Singh, deputy commissioner of Muktsar.