STATE TIMES NEWSJAMMU: Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha on Friday e-inaugurated and laid e-foundation of sports infrastructure projects worth Rs 18.10 cr and dedicated the new sports facilities to the local youth.Moving ahead towards developing state-of-the-art sports infrastructure in the UT, the government is creating modern facilities and developing sports culture even in remote areas for talented sportspersons of the UT, observed the Lt Governor.Funded under CAPEX, JKIDFC, Khelo India, and PMDP, the inauguration and foundation laying of these projects marks the beginning of next phase of modernization of sports infra in J&K, the Lt Governor added.We are working with a mission to take sports to Panchayat level and provide opportunities to the youth living in far-flung areas. With better training and modern infrastructure, our youths can represent the country in international events, remarked the Lt Governor.The Lt Governor expressed gratitude to all the coaches and officials associated with the sports, who are working day and night to identify and extract young talent, with a resolve to make Jammu and Kashmir proud.The Government is providing sports infrastructure and facilities to the young budding sportspersons of the UT. Now, it is the responsibility of the coaches and officials to hone the talent and improve J&K’s medal tally in national and international level competitions.He said that Government of India has been liberal in providing funds for Education and Sports in Jammu and Kashmir. ‘The combined budget of education and sports of Jammu and Kashmir is Rs 2386 crores, which is way more than various bigger States and UTs.In the last few months, J&K Sports Council has emerged as a powerful vehicle for identification of platforms for young talent. Still, we have a long way to go. Time-bound targets need to be fixed for the coaches in different disciplines of various games. It should also be kept in mind that only professional coaches are included in every field and he should show the same enthusiasm as the government and the players are showing, maintained the Lt Governor.Apart from professional sports, we are striving to improve the level of sports and facilities at the college and university level as well. The way development is taking place in all disciplines of sports, the sports sector informally has taken the form of industry in Jammu and Kashmir, said the Lt Governor.The Lt Governor advised the Sports Council to work strategically, identify such places where youth are performing well and develop them as a Special Sports Hub. The Sports Council can also work with other departments such as Rural Development, Police, and Higher Education Department for professional services and technical know-how in the form of convergence in the field of sports.On the occasion, the Lt Governor extended his best wishes to all the Indian Sportspersons representing the country in the ongoing Tokyo Olympic Games.The projects inaugurated today by the Lt Governor included Synthetic Football Turf at Khel Gaon Nagrota worth Rs 5 cr; Mini Stadium at Bhour Camp, Chatha costing Rs 1 cr and Playfield at Purmandal at a cost of Rs 2 cr.The Mini Stadium at Bhour Camp will benefit 5000 youth by accommodating games like Cricket, Volleyball, Kabaddi.With the completion of new Playfield at Purmandal, games including Cricket, Football, Volleyball, Kabaddi which are popular amongst the locals of the area will get the impetus. Border rural and tribal youth shall get benefit from this playground.The Lt Governor also laid e-foundation for sports infrastructure including Synthetic Athletic Track at Jammu University costing Rs 6 cr which is first of its kind in the UT and shall bring J&K on international map of athletics, besides impacting the university games, school games, and other athletic activities for national & international participants.Other projects for which foundations were laid include – Construction of Mini Stadium at Surankote, Poonch costing Rs 3 cr; and Illumination of Playfields at Darhal and Peeri, Rajouri worth Rs 55 lakh each.Those present on the occasion were Alok Kumar, Principal Secretary, Youth Services and Sports; Mohd. Ashraf Bhat, Special Secretary and Director Youth Services and Sports; Nuzhat Gul, Secretary J&K Sports Council, and senior officers of the department.
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