Amid controversy and protests by sportspersons over landing of President Pranab Mukherjee's copters and his team on a synthetic track of of local Government Postgraduate Degree College ground, the district administration has finally decided to go ahead with its plan.
Earlier, there were reports that the copters would land in the grounds of the NIT and Government polytechnic, respectively.
President Pranab Mukherjee will visit Hamirpur on December 17 to take part in annual convocation of National Institute of Technology here.
Meanwhile, with the teams of Indian Air force rejected both sites on Friday and preferred to land their chopper on the synthetic track, which was laid for athletes by a private company with the help of the state government.
This decision has irked the sports fraternity in the district, who strongly opposed the choppers landing on the synthetic track, alleging that the track would develop cracks due to the landing.
Hamipur deputy commissioner Rohan Chand Thakur clarified in a statement that choppers would land in the degree college ground and efforts would be made not to cause any harm to the synthetic track.
He said police personnel and others on Presidents security duty had been advised not to enter the synthetic track area.
He further clarified that carpets were being laid in some portions of the track so that there was no loss to the track.
On other hand, as per the advice of the Air Force officials, poles of Discuss and Hammer arenas were dismantled by the district administration on Saturday.
Similarly, poles of Volleyball have also been removed from the NIT ground so that the ground was kept as stand bye for the choppers landing, if needed.
Narendra Atri, incharge of BJYM Punjab affairs and a sportsman, said, “The state government's decision to land the President and his team choppers in the college ground was against the sports fraternity and must be condemned.”
He said that those who invited the President for the function should have thought earlier about the landing and other arrangements for the President's tour.
District Athletic Association has also denounced the decision of the authorities. It said that it would not be a good practice as once it was allowed to others would also try to land their choppers in the ground, where it was banned earlier in view of the interests of the sports persons.
It is worth mentioning that the synthetic track was laid by a private cement manufacturing firm by spending a sum of eight crore rupees. It was inaugurated by former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal in 2012.
Moreover, various state level and national level track and field tournaments for the boys and girls have been organised on this track from times to time and with its laying Hamirpur has become famous from the athletic point of view.
Om Parkash, the Asian record holder in the Discus Throw has been practicing here for the last six months here under Bhupinder Singh Thakur, the state coach of the Athletic Association.