Sports track turned into parking lot? Maharashtra sports department apologises
BJP MLA from Maharashtra's Pune, Siddharth Shirole, on Sunday posted a video on Twitter accusing the Maha Vikas Aghadi government of hurting the spirit of India's sportspersons by parking their cars on the sports track of Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex. A meeting was held on Saturday at the sports complex to review the progress of the under-construction International Sports University. The meeting hall was barely 15 steps away from where they got down from their cars, but they chose to use the athletes' track as their parking lot, the MLA said, adding that there was also a provision to use an elevator to reach the meeting hall. Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, Maharashtra sports minister Sunil Chattrapal and minister of state Aditi S Tatkare were present at the meeting.
Maharashtra sports department reacted to the accusation and apologised. It also clarified that only Sharad Pawar's vehicle was allowed to park there so that he doesn't have to walk. And permission was given to park on the concrete road near the track. But suddenly some vehicles reached there, Om Prakash Bakoria, Sports Commissioner of Maharashtra told ANI.
"The sports minister has taken note of the incident and instructions have been issued to make sure that vehicles are not allowed at the athletic track," the sports department said.
After the MLA posted the photographs that he sourced from local media, Union minister of sports Kiren Rijiju hit out and wrote, "As it is we are lacking in sufficient sports facilities in our country. All the sports centres need proper care."
The BJP MLA also questioned what would have happened had a cricket ground been turned into a parking lot. "Don't get me wrong.. I love Cricket but imagine the uproar if SUV's drove and parked over the center pitch of an International Cricket ground..That is what the MVA Leadership did...disrespected & destroyed an International Athletic track and with it the morale of our athletes," Siddharth Shirole tweeted.
The MLA also said that the athletic track is worth crores of rupees. "Not only has the Athletic Track worth crores of rupees at ShivChaptrapati Sports Complex #Pune been damaged, but the spirit of Sportspersons who bring glory to our nation has been severely dented by the shameful & arrogant actions of #MVA leadership," he wrote.
"At a time when PM Modi is inspiring our sportsperson to bring glory for our country, the tall leaders of Maha Vikas Aghadhi government are doing such shameful acts. I demand immediate apology from them and an impartial inquiry into the entire incident," the BJP MLA said.