9 years on Nayagarh stadium remains a pipedream

Nayagarh: Resentment brews among the aspiring sportsmen in the district as a stadium project launched about nine years back is yet to take off.

A patch of five acres was earmarked for in 2009 for construction of stadium having state of the art facilities near the sports hostel in the town. The aim was to groom promising sportsmen by offering them required practice facilities and proper training. However, there is no head-way in the project, pointing fingers towards the efficiency of the district administration.

Though crores of rupees were granted by the state government for the construction of the stadium in phases, most parts of the sanctioned money have been misappropriated, it is alleged.

According to reports, Rs 87.29 lakh was sanctioned in the first phase in 2009. The Road and Building (R&B) Department of Khurda division had erected a boundary wall, fixed an iron gate and put up drainage system with the funds. The government sanctioned Rs 85.82 lakh in 2013 in the second phase which was also spent by the Khurda division of the department. Though the department claimed to have spent the money on the improving the ground, it is not visible.

Meanwhile, the stadium was handed over to the Nayagarh Forest Department during the 2015-16 fiscal. The Forest Department planted some grass and installed a water sprinkler in the proposed stadium. Later, it handed over the stadium to the District Sports Department.

Though the project continues to go from one hand to other, no significant development has been noticed, alleged locals.

While the stadium premise is full of unwanted growth, the grass is no more in maintainable condition. The miserable condition of the stadium also doesn’t draw the attention of the officials concerned.

On the other hand, young sportsmen, for whom the stadium was supposed offer an launch pad, are in distress due to lack of facilities.

When contacted, district sports officer Sujata Kumari Sahoo said the department is taking measures for the beautification of the stadium.

The R&B department is preparing an estimate for the cost of completing the project. Once it is submitted, it would be sent to the government for sanction, Sahoo added.