Sports infrastructure

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Ever since the Imphal National Games in 1999, sports infrastructure remained one of the most neglected sectors. While the Okram Ibobi Singh led governments was focusing on other infrastructure related mega projects, it had completely forgotten a crucial sector which was responsible for channelizing the positive energy of our youth. For the last so many years, except for routine tournaments and championships and the yearly ritual of awards ceremony of sports achievers the Khuman Lampak Sports Complex was not in Ibobi Singh’s radar. It was the young sportspersons who had been flocking day in day out at the Sports Complex sweating it out with outdated equipments or utilities. Surprisingly one fine morning it got the attention of the Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh. He came, he saw and he announced a Rs 100 crore project under the 13thFinance Commission Award, 2010-15. During the inspection tour, the Chief Minister and his team visited all the stadiums in the sports complex. A discussion was also held at the complex where he gave an ear to the concerns of coaches of different disciplines and officials of the state level sports association. There could be several reasons for the Chief Minister’s sudden interest in the sports complex. We could only think of one, which is the enormity of the project amount. We are not being pessimistic, but in these days we have to look at everything with a pinch of salt and certainly not at face value. These are indeed strange times, when the powerful and mighty could transfer bulk of the plan funds to a work agency leaving major infrastructure departments in the lurch. Such diversions speak volumes on how the present government works. However, despite the misgivings the proposal for up-gradation of the Khuman Lampak Sports Complex is noteworthy. The up-gradation project includes changing of flood lights and replacement of Synthetic surface (Astro turf),
sealing of expansion joints, score board with LCD booth, replacement of synthetic track and laying of synthetic track for practice, replacement of plastic chairs, tensile membrane structure; upgradation of the hockey stadium includes replacement of Synthetic surface (Astro turf), score board with LCD Booth, roofing of western gallery; upgradation for Cycle velodrome includes improvement of drainage system, repairing of the velodrome, painting anti-skid of track; a learner’ pool (50’ x 30’) with filtration plant at the Aquatic Complex; solar power with electric back-up heating system for existing swimming pool, diving pool and learners’ pool and upgradation of filtration plant and robot cleaning system; replacement of bulbs and indoor lighting, score board and acoustic of synthetic surface for the Indoor system and improvement of target system and flooring for shooting range and the construction of warm-up hall for Kangsang; changing rooms (boys & girls), office room, store room, bathrooms and toilets (separate men’s and women’s) for fencing, Wu-shu, Indoor Weight-lifting hall, Sepak Takraw, archery pavilion 90m distance maximum, boxing gym/indoor hall with sound proof, wrestling, Kabadi, Javelin throw, shot-put, long jump, high-jump; 150 capacity separate hostels for boys and girls, four public toilets and pavilion shed for practice fields (with three toilets) and street lighting system and laying of optical fiber cables. These improvements will indeed serve as a booster to the existing sports infrastructure. Yet, there is little on the equipment front. Sports equipments in these times indeed become a very important part for development of sports. For improving the quality of our sportspersons as regards international events we have to install the most modern and up-to-date sports equipments in the state for the benefit of our talented youth. By providing them both modern infrastructure and equipments, they will be able to achieve more and bring laurels and recognition of the state. Imagine, a small state like Manipur sending 5 athletes to the Olympics to represent the country. Whether they are able to bring medals or not, it does not matter. What matters most is the participation.

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