Synthetic hockey turf in Kodagu a distant dream

Two years on, funds not released

 Sports lovers all over the district are currently forced to practise on muddy
surface instead of a synthetic hockey turf as the completion of works on the ground has got unduly delayed.

Release of the pending funds to complete works on the synthetic hockey turf ground at sports hostel in Kudige too has been delayed. All of this has no doubt been testing the patience of sports lovers.

The sports hostel was the first such facility to take shape in the state in 1982-83, during the tenure of then Chief Minister R Gundu Rao, who was also a native of the town. The authorities have, however, not released funds so as to make the facility available for sportsmen.

The Department of Youth Empowerment and Sports had taken up the project at an estimated cost of Rs 3.42 crore two years ago. Sim Carts, a Delhi-based company, had bagged the works and had taken up the works in first phase by levelling the ground with crushed stones, besides building drains and fencing the ground by utilising funds to the tune of Rs 1.42 crore against the total project cost released by the government. However, the authorities dithered to release remaining funds, thus halting the works in its present stage. Fifty per cent of the works have been completed, with remaining amount of Rs 2 crore yet to be released.

The turf mats imported from Malaysia have been dumped near the ground and left exposed to sun and rain while weeds and shrubs occupy the ground. While the works remain to be completed, budding sportspersons are forced to practice on the muddy surface. This is bound to adversely affect their performance as most hockey matches are played on the turf.

Ravinayak and Shobha have represented the school in international hockey games, while 14 other students of the school have bagged Ekalavya awards.

Prameela Ayyappa, an alumni of the same school, has taken part in Athletics during the Olympics, says coach Antony D’Souza.

He rates the school as one that is evolving as the best among 22 sports schools in the state.

Assistant Director, Department of Youth Empowerment and Sports Jayalakshmi Bai said, “A letter in this regard has been written to higher officials, apprising them of incomplete works. The contractors will be reminded of completing the work at its earliest.”

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