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DB directs to file updated status report of constructions of all sports stadia
9/29/2020 12:03:51 AM

JAMMU, Sept 28: A Division Bench of J&K High Court comprising Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Puneet Gupta directed file a latest updated status report with regard to the constructions of the all the sports stadia which were under construction/renovation when we took note of the present petition and time line of their completion which shall be filed before us in a tabulated form within ten days from today.
DB also grants time to ASGI to file a report with regard to the issues under consideration in respect of the Union Territory of Ladakh.
DB observed that on 24th of October, 2018, we have, inter alia, noted as follows that during the consideration of PIL No 09/2017 relating to insufficiency of parks and open spaces in Srinagar, yet another issue regarding deficiency of sports facilities in the State of Jammu and Kashmir has come to the fore. In fact, most of the sports in which India is competing at the International level are completely absent from the State. It is common knowledge that even in Srinagar, there are barely three to four stadiums: one being the Bakshi Stadium which provides for playing football, the second is the Sher-i-Kashmir Indoor Stadium which provides for some indoor games as badminton, table tennis; the third and fourth are TRC Ground and Polo Ground, where football and cricket are being played. The status in Jammu is not much better.
It was informed that there is not a single athletic track facility, swimming pools, basketball courts, baseball, to play carom, chess, billiards and the other sports games in Srinagar for children to learn and play. There are no public swimming pools in the city of Srinagar.
DB observed that the importance of sports in the life of any person cannot be sufficiently emphasized. Participation in sporting activities is a building block in bringing habits of discipline, rectitude, perseverance commitment and most importantly developing an ability to work in teams. It contributes to building a more sensitive, innovative, equitable, fair community and world.
Sports facilities are available to the children, youth and persons of all ages and culture in every part of the country. These facilities must be made available to every child, youth and resident in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. The Government of Jammu and Kashmir has an essential responsibility to ensure that these facilities are enabled to every person who is a resident of or visits the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
DB further observed that the Central Government has also ensured a budgetary allocation for the subject of sports which it is dispensing to the sports bodies.
DB observed that Syed Faisal Qadri, Amicus Curaie has drawn our attention to one Status Report filed by Mohammad Ayub, Under Secretary to Government, Youth Services and Sports, J&K, in August, 2020 which makes a reference to the proposed meeting of the Committee constituted pursuant to the Order No. 256 JK (GAD) of 2020 dated 18.03.2020. This refers to a meeting which was scheduled on 18th of March, 2020 without any fruitful outcome thereof. A second status report dated 18.08.2020 again filed by Mr. Mohammad Ayub, Under Secretary to Government, Youth Services and Sports, J&K, Mohammad Ayub, Under Secretary to Government, Youth Services and Sports, J&K, refers to a meeting of the same committee which was scheduled for 17th of August, 2020 and makes a reference to a policy decision to be required which is to be taken up by the competent authority.
DB further observed that nothing at all has been placed before us as to what has been proposed and the status report filed by the Government of India elaborately sets out the funds which have been provided at the Central level for development of such facilities in the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.
DB further observed that before us, the respondents have attempted to take shelter behind Covid-19 pandemic situation. While the impact of this pandemic on lives cannot be disputed, however, it does not come in the way of the respondents in taking a policy decisions / planning and creation of facilities. The lack of interest and seriousness on the part of the Committee (constituted by the order dated 18-08-2020) can be visualized since inasmuch as one meeting of this specially constituted Committee takes place on 18th of March, 2020 (seven months after its constitution) and the other, six months thereafter on 17th of August, 2020 that too without any fruitful outcome thereof.
DB noted that almost all Sports Associations in the country who have appeared before us, including the Badminton Association of India, have expressed willingness to facilitate development of sports facilities for the children in the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
It is submitted by Mir Suhail, AAG, that lot of stadia which were under construction have been completed. They have been used as Covid Centres keeping in view the needs of the Union Territory. The respondents had filed a status report dated 18th December, 2019 (at page 330) giving details including time lines of completion of the sports facilities which were under construction/renovation. (JNF)
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