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R-Day Venue Row: Shift function to alternate place, let IPL matches be hosted in 2020: Cricketers appeal to J&K
11/22/2019 9:25:52 PM
Early Times Report
Jammu, Nov 22: In view of Republic Day celebration function venue controversy triggered after the Divisional Administration decided to host it at under-renovation Maulana Azad Stadium, the cricketers have appealed to the newly appointed Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu to kindly intervene in the interest of the sports and players.
Pertinent to mention here that due to renovation work at the stadium, the Republic Day function of 2019 was held at University of Jammu after the government raised full-fledged infrastructure.
However, shifting of Republic Day celebration function from M A Stadium to some other alternate venue, was one of the major and long pending demands of the sportspersons and sports lovers so that activities do not get effected when competitions of national and international level are round the corner between October to February.
Maulana Azad Stadium is coming up as an international level infrastructure exclusively for cricket and the government is also planning to host one of the matches of Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2020.
"The decision of the government to hold R Day function next year at M A Stadium is very unfortunate," Vivek Sharma, former Ranji Trophy player and sports promoter here told UNI.
He said that the government should reconsider its decision, adding, "such decisions create doubts in the minds of the people that the government is not serious in taking sports to new heights."
"We appeal to the LG G C Murmu to please intervene. He should personally look into the matter and revert the decision of hosting R-Day function of 2020 at M A Stadium in the interest of the cricketers" said the veteran cricketer.
"An alternate location should be identified by the government to shift the venue forever from the heart of the city, which also causes inconvenience to the commuters due to security concerns," Dhruv Mahajan, former skipper, J&K Cricket Association here said.
He added that likewise 2019, the function can be held in Jammu University Grounds.
Expressing resentment over the decision, another Veteran Cricketer, Sameer Khajuria said, "how can government take this decision at the cost of sports especially when the infrastructure is exclusively coming up for cricket and plans to host IPL matches next year areas pipeline."
"When surplus was spent to construct infrastructure at Jammu University then why it cannot be a permanent venue," he suggested adding that an alternate venue must be identified by the government to permanently shift R-Day function from M A Stadium to elsewhere.
The Maulana Azad Stadium every year is also closed for sports activities for around two months from mid of December till January ending due to security reasons for Republic Day and 'Beating the Retreat'.
"The cricketers of the state (now UT) were very happy when the administration organised 2019 function at Jammu University grounds as they were hopeful that the Stadium will now be utilised only for sports activities and the venue will again become hub of activities," said Khajuria and added that it is unfortunate that nothing has changed rather, the decision has further dashed hopes of many players awaiting IPL match next year.
The cricketers besides Jammu University also suggested venues like Sports Stadium at BSF Frontier Headquarters located at Paloura and Army's Sports Stadium at Sunjuwan.
"It is really sad that the stadium, which is nearly to its completion, be used for Republic Day celebrations," Ashwani Gupta, veteran cricketer and former J&K Cricket Association captain here told .
"Hosting international or IPL matches in future will give push to tourism, which will automatically will generate economy," he added and said, "neighbouring state Himachal Pradesh where the Dharamshala Cricket Stadium is not only used as a venue for cricket matches but also as a tourism industry."
Sources in the divisional administration said that the NPCC, executing agency, has been directed to complete the renovation by mid of December so that the venue can be handed over for rehearsals.
An upcoming cricket stadium's renovation and rebuilding is around Rs 50 crore under Prime Minister's Special Package and being supervised by the National Projects Construction Corporation (NPCC).
The Stadium when completed will have a well established Pavilion, with Standard Gymnasium, Conference Halls, Open VIP, Media and Players Zones and Galleries, and not to talk of the customary Dressing and Changing Rooms besides Match Referee Rooms, Umpires Rooms, Medical Rooms an Dope Test Rooms in a modernized fashion.
There will also be a provision of establishing around 20, 000 seats in the entire Stadium, including VIP Galleries in the Pavilion.
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