Aimed at effectively grooming budding players of the region to compete in national and international arena, the Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has decided to convert and upgrade existing sports school and sports college here into state of the art 'Sports Institute of Jalandhar' at a cost of Rs 40 crores.
During a recent visit of the college, Badal expressed serious concern over the dilapidated infra structure in sports school and college and said that these institutes were established to produce word class players from the region, but it has lost its sheen with the passage of time.
As a follow up, Badal on Saturday convened a special meeting of the sports and education departments at Chandigarh and clarified that proposed institute would groom the budding players and would be completely different from the 'Centre of Sports Excellence' to be developed in the city. Education minister Sikander Singh Maluka, Anjali Bhawra, principal secretary, education, Ashok Gupta, secretary, sports department, Shruti Singh, Jalandhar's deputy commissioner and Shiv Dular Singh, director, sports department, were present in the meeting.
"We need to develop Sports Institute of Jalandhar on the lines of newly set up sports school at Ghudda near Bathinda to provide ultra modern sports facilities to the young players," he quipped, adding that the project should be accomplished within a year.
Badal also shelved the plan to sell college land under optimum utilization of vacant government land scheme to generate Rs 40 crores funds. "Not a single inch of the campus will be sold out. We will provide requisite funds," he said, asking sports department to seek advice of National Institute of Sports (NIS), Patiala experts' for executing the project.
He said that apart from athletic track and grounds for football, volleyball, basketball, hockey and other games, the students should be provided an ultra modern gymnasium for the sporting activities. "The existing swimming pool will be converted into a world-class all weather facility for round the year use," he said, adding that gymnasium would be provided with latest equipments to meet international standards.
Separate hostels to accommodate 150 sportspersons each from school and college would be constructed. "This will encourage players to opt for admission in the institute," Badal said, asking the education and sports department to coordinate with the Town Planning department and Punjab Urban Planning and development Authority (PUDA) for ensuring judicious use of the land to promote sports and education in the region.
The sportspersons, despite having represented at state and national level tournaments, are compelled to live in unhygienic conditions. A temporary hostel in college's gymnastics wing houses up to 20 sportspersons while rooms were situated close to bathrooms. The building itself wears abandoned look due to irregular cleaning. The students have no option but to use swimming pool for bath, as there is no water supply in the hostel.