Stadiums in Bihar: No boundary walls, water stream on ground
The stadium built a few years ago at Jinhara-Lakshmipur village in Jamui district of Bihar has a water stream cutting through it. It also doesn’t have a boundary wall. Women now use it on Chhath Puja to offer tributes to the Sun God.
The one at Koelwar in Bhojpur district is only a shade better. It has a pavilion, but the ground is uneven.
The sorry state of stadiums came to light during a meeting held on August 24 by the youth affairs directorate of the culture department, which had in 2007 planned 534 stadiums in the state, one in every block. Between 2008-2009 and 2017-2018, it approved the design plan of 306 stadiums.
Today, less than one fourth of the 534 stadiums have been constructed.
And of the 115 stadiums said to be ready, half a dozen have no boundary walls, officials said.
“We have formed a team of officials to visit and review the condition of all the stadiums and submit the status report,” Bandana Preyashi, who has recently joined the art, culture and youth affairs department as secretary, said.
Mithilesh Kumar, deputy director of the youth affairs directorate, said many shocking facts about the stadiums were revealed during the review session. “It was expected that all the 306 stadiums which were approved must be ready, but only 115 were found ready,” he said.
Officials said 66 stadiums are under construction while the process is on to start work on 125 stadiums.
“Majority of stadiums said to be ready lack sports infrastructure,” said Kumar.
The official said fund for the project was initially released to the respective district administration for construction work. “But in 2010, the project was handed over to the building construction department. For the last few years, it’s being handled by the recently formed Bihar State Building Construction Corporation,” he said.
“Budget of the stadiums too have been revised considering the current rate of construction material,” he said.
Three categories of stadiums were planned in the state. The first was a football stadium to be developed over 115x 95 metres at an estimated budget of ₹54.74 lakh. The second was a medium size stadium over 150x120 metres with a 300-metre-long track to be developed at a cost of ₹68. 23 lakh. The third category was a big stadium with a 400-metre-long track to be developed over 200x130 metres at a cost of ₹74.89 lakh.
When contacted, Kumar Ravi, secretary of building construction department, said the department and the Bihar State Building Construction Corporation have been working on the project. “We are trying to get the works done fast at the sites which are free from encroachments. This is our priority,” he said.
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