Resume Kanteerava track work soon: Ravi

Resume Kanteerava track work soon: Ravi

Youth Empowerment and Sports Minister C T Ravi inspects the track work at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium as Karnataka Olympic Association President K Govindraj (left) looks on. The minister visited the stadium to take part in the symbolic Olympic Run on Tuesday. DH Photo/ B H Shivakumar

Karnataka sports minister CT Ravi instructed the Department of Youth Empowerment and Sports (DYES) to resume relaying of the synthetic track at the Sree Kanteerava stadium by finding suitable raw materials within the country.

The track work, which began in the second week of March, has hit several roadblocks. Despite the sports ministry allowing sports complexes and stadia to reopen for training in the second week of May, athletes here haven’t been able to use the main area of the Kanteerava stadium because of the incomplete track work.

The DYES had cited inability to import raw materials from abroad due to Covid-19 restrictions as a reason for the delay in project completion. Ravi, who was at the stadium as chief guest for Olympic Day celebrations organised by the Karnataka Olympic Association on Tuesday, inspected the track and was upset with the situation.

“The old track shouldn’t have been removed without the raw materials available," he told DH. "That wasn’t a wise decision. I understand in the time of Covid-19, importing is not possible for now. I have told them (DYES) to resume work by finding the materials from within the country. We can’t delay further because senior coaches have approached me requesting to provide proper training facility as early as possible,” the minister offered.  

Responding to the minister’s statement, DYES commissioner K Srinivas said: “He (the minister) spoke to me about it. The materials we need aren’t available in India. That’s why we had ordered them from Italy. But now we have to find the best replacement in India.”

Covid Care Centre

The State government recently named Kanteerava (Indoor) and Koramangala Indoor stadium in the list of possible centres to treat asymptomatic patients. Athletes and parents are apprehensive to use the stadium if it’s turned it into a Covid Care Centre (CCC).

“Right now, health emergency is our main concern. I understand their (athletes) worry. But what if one day a sportsperson has to be quarantined? So, we are considering many things. I have spoken to the chief minister and requested him to keep sports stadiums as the last option in this matter. Because, we need to ensure the infrastructure of a place is of top quality before turning it into a CCC. Right now, we have got suggestions to use the wedding halls at the Palace Grounds as centres to treat patients. So let’s see,” he said.