Jarkhar Sports Festival abuzz with politicians’ hollow claims

  • Sukhpreet Singh, Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
  • Updated: Jan 23, 2016 23:58 IST
Players in action during the last day of the 30th Jarkhar Games in Ludhiana on Saturday. (Sikander Singh Chopra/HT)

Jarkhar Sports Festival, which concluded on Saturday, is held every year and witnesses promises of fund allocation by prominent leaders but the promises are hardly fulfilled.

Politicians often turn up here and exhort to work for upgrading the status of the Jarkhar Sports Academy.

Academy president Jagroop Jarkhar says lakhs of rupees have been announced for the academy so far but very few of the promises have been fulfilled. The Jarkhar Sports Academy was set up seven years ago at the cost of Rs 4 crore, largely contributed by non-resident Indians (NRIs) and other sports promoters in the region.

According to Jagroop Jarkhar, Manpreet Badal in 2009 announced a grant of Rs 40 lakh for upgrading the sports festival “but when we approached the leader later, we came to know that it was only on paper.” Likewise, between 1997 and 2002, several leaders of the then ruling government promised a collective sum of Rs 60 lakh but the academy hasn’t received even a single penny, he claimed.

MLA Darshan Singh Shivalik had promised in 2010 the grant of Rs 5 lakh every year to the academy but didn’t do so, said Jarkhar.

However, when contacted, Shivalik said he gave Rs 10 lakh recently to the academy. “The announcements made by political leaders during the event is aimed at getting the attention of the public,” he said.

Ruing further, Jagroop said former MP and Union minister Manish Tiwari had promised to sanction `4 crore for a hockey stadium in 2011 but failed to do so. Chairman of district planning commission board Hira Singh Gabria has also promised to sanction the grant of `5 lakh twice for the academy but failed to sanction.

When contacted, Gabria said he never made any such promise.

“Union minister Vijay Sampla had promised a grant of Rs 2 lakh and a promise of Rs 2 lakh was made by Punjab irrigation minister Sharanjit Singh Dhillon last year but the promises are yet to see the light of the day,” said Jagroop Jarkhar.

Dhillion, however, said, “I have sent the grant and it will be released soon for the Jarkhar Sports Academy.”

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