The all-India gold cup hockey tournament will be held at the international-level hockey stadium on the premises of Government Brijindra College here from September 19 to 23, but the interlocking tiles around the Astroturf surface have been badly damaged at many places and need immediate repairs. The Astroturf surface on the west side near the centre lines has also suffered damage.
The stadium, which was inaugurated only two years ago by deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, was built at a cost of Rs 7 crore by the Punjab government and Rs 4 crore were spent on fitting it with the special international-level Astroturf surface alone. Every year, the all-India gold cup hockey tournament is played on it and the deputy chief minister usually visits it on the concluding day of the tournament.
The stadium has a pavilion capacity of 1,500 with 10 special VIP rooms for players and coaches.
"The stadium, which provides players an international-level experience, is a special asset of the district. But it is very unfortunate that the stadium has begun to suffer damage within two years of its inauguration," a source claimed.
Though a drain around the Astroturf surface has been dug up properly, but the rainwater from the sides does not simply fall down into it because, at many places, the floor of the interlocking tiles is lower than the drain. The rainwater seems to have seeped the interlocking tiles at many places and the tiles have been lying broken at those places.
"Besides the breaking of the interlocking tiles, the Astroturf boundary near the centre on the west side of the stadium has also got uneven at two-three places. Actually, the boundary provides the safety to the fast-running players to stop and avoid any injury. But, if it is uneven at a place, the fast running player may stumble upon it and get injured," said a source.
The stadium has been handed over to the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), which is running the hockey academy here.
"We have written many letters to the district sports authorities about the problem which needs immediate attention," said a senior official, responsible to look after it.
"I am aware of the problem but funds are a problem for us to have it repaired. The rains have damaged the stadium at one place only. However, we shall have it repaired in a few days," said Karam Singh, district supports officer, Faridkot.
But, the all india gold cup hockey tournament is going to inaugurated on September 19 at this stadium on the premises of government Brijindra college Faridkot. The tournament would conclude on September 23.