Land owners don’t oppose sports varsity : CM

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IMPHAL, Jun 23: Chief Minister O Ibobi has categorically stated that land owners from whom more than 300 acres of land have been acquired for establishment of National Sports University have no objection to setting up the university at Yaithibi Khunou, Thoubal district.
Addressing a press conference at the CM’s Secretariat today, Ibobi asserted that land owners are rather keen to see commencement of construction works.
Whereas the Union Sports Ministry asked 200 acres for the university, the State Government provided 336.93 acres.
However, the Union Sports Ministry’s recent proposal to explore an alternative site if the existing controversy over land acquisition at Yaithibi Khunou cannot be resolved by the end of the current month was something totally unexpected, Ibobi remarked.
After Rs 100 crore was earmarked for construction of the sports university in the Union budget tabled by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in 2014, the Ministry sent an expert team and the proposed university’s site was identified.
The expert team, after inspection, identified Yaithibi Khunou (Thoubal sub-division), Laijing (Kakching sub-division) and Chaobok (Lilong sub-division) as probable sites for the university in preferential order.
A memorandum of agreement was signed on August 27, 2015 between the Government of India through the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and the State Government through the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports for establishment of National Sports University at Yaithibi Khunou.
The formal hand over and take over of the said land was also done on the same day. Considering the future expansion of the University, the State Government has been working to provide at least 400 acres of land for the university.
As for the litigation regarding a piece of land measuring 34 acres, the same is expected to be disposed off soon and there is no question of unresolved matter regarding acquisition of land, Ibobi asserted. The piece of land against which a litigation was filed is located at the extreme end of the total areas acquired. As such, construction of the university as well as the compound fence can be started right now. There is no question of the State Government neglecting the proposed sports university, continued the Chief Minister who is also in charge of YAS Department. The VC’s and the Registrar’s rooms have been already arranged at Khuman Lampak Sports Complex. Ibobi stated that he personally asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi by the sidelines of the NEC’s 65th plenary session held at Shillong to table and pass a Bill necessary for establishment of the sports university and commence the university’s session at Khuman Lampak Sports Complex where adequate infrastructure are available.
Ibobi then called upon all political parties and civil society organisations to work collectively so that the necessary Bill is passed and the university’s maiden session is started at the earliest. Acknowledging that it was the consistent spectacular performances of Manipuri players which brought the sports university to Manipur, Ibobi stated that the Chief Secretary has written to the Sports Ministry on the matter.
Chief Secretary O Nabakishore who was also present at the press conference said that he had talked with the Union Sports Secretary and was told that construction of fence around the acquired area can be started any time. The Union Sports Secretary was also urged to table a Bill necessary for establishment of the sports university at Parliament at the earliest. Nabakishore said that the Sports Ministry would be sending a team to the State shortly.

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