Ludhiana: Basketball tourney round the corner, courts far from ready
The construction of two indoor basketball courts in Ludhiana, scheduled to be completed by July 26, is far from finished, with over 70% of the work still pending. The municipal corporation officials are confident that the construction will be completed in time for the senior basketball matches in December. The delay has inconvenienced local players who have been forced to practice on different basketball courts throughout the city. The Punjab basketball association has appealed for the project to be accelerated.
Ahead of the 73rd senior national basketball championship which is set to take place at the Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana from December 3 to 10, the municipal corporation has missed the deadline to construct two indoor basketball courts.
The ₹11.26 crore project, under Smart City Mission, which was slated to complete on July 26, is far from completion as over 70% work is pending.
During a recent site visit, it was evident that the authorities have only levelled the ground for the construction of the courts.
Officials have expressed confidence that the construction work will conclude just in time for the senior basketball matches, scheduled to be held here.
MC officials have disclosed that the work order for the project was issued on January 30, and construction commenced in March, aiming for a July completion date.
The project involves the construction of two indoor basketball courts with maple wood flooring,and the renovation of player rooms, bathrooms and related facilities.
Inconvenience to players
Guru Nanak Stadium hosts four indoor basketball courts, of which, the two already built courts are being used by academy players.
The local players are unable to practice due to the ongoing construction of the other two courts. Since March, these players have been compelled to practice on different basketball courts throughout the city, including a multi-purpose court and various school courts.
A basketball player, Saksham, said, “Our practice is suffering due to the ongoing construction. According to the workers at the site, the project will complete after six months. I am now practising whenever the courts are available at different locations, as no one allows us to play when the academy or school teams are using the courts. I urge the authorities to expedite the work.”
Recently, the Punjab basketball association appealed to the local bodies minister, Balkar Singh, to instruct officials to accelerate the project and install American maple wood for the basketball courts. Sources indicate that the wood procurement process is underway and it will arrive in India in nearly two months. MC executive engineer Ravinder stated, “Due to the continuous rains, the basketball court project is experiencing delays. We have instructed the contractor to expedite the work and we anticipate its completion by December.”