Athletes’ wait gets longer as track-laying at Ludhiana’s Guru Nanak Stadium stuck in slow lane
The ₹7 crore revamp of Ludhiana’s Guru Nanak Stadium project missed is set to miss its second deadline of December-end and will need at least another couple of months to complete
Athletes’ wait for synthetic tracks continues to grow as the Guru Nanak Stadium revamp is set to miss its second deadline of December and will need at least another couple of months to be completed.
The revamp project, being carried out under the Smart City Mission at an estimated cost of ₹7 crore, also includes redoing of the football field and installation of sprinklers and LED lights at the sporting facility.
Announced in February earlier this year, the work was supposed to be completed by August, but the deadline being missed, the target was shifted to December-end.
The football field is now levelled with 30 sprinklers and LED lights have been put in place.
Work to lay the tracks, however, is currently running behind schedule and will only be completed by January-end at the earliest, Smart City executive engineer Balwinder Singh said.
Athletics coach Sanjeev Sharma, who supervises the work, remains hopeful, saying, “Maybe more time will ensure better quality of work.”
The apprehension stems from the fact that repairs and revamps are hard to come by for the facility. To find the last time that fresh tracks were laid at the stadium, one has to go all the way back to 2001. It is in this backdrop that Sanjeev does not want any compromises on quality. “Who knows when the track will be laid again,” he said.
A synthetic track typically lasts 10-12 years. The one laid at the stadium, athlete Guriqbal Singh, who has been training at the stadium for over two decades, said came undone five years ago.
Elaborating, Sanjeev says track developed bubbles, making it impossible for the facility to host any big events.
The stadium has now remained shut for over 10 months for repairs, forcing local athletes to make do with different facilities.
Aryan, a 21-year-old 400 m hurdler and 800 m runner, said they had to train at the grounds of local government colleges and the Punjab Agricultural University. Others, he said, took to the gym at the Sports Authority of India’s facility, before expressing hope of timely completion of repair work this time around.