Former International footballers of State have lashed out at J&K State Sports Council for wasting money on exhibition match and ignoring the dilapidated State of grounds in State.
The former Indian Football Team captain Abdul Majeed Kakroo and first International footballer of Jammu and Kashmir Mohammad Shafi Nari in a statement issued have lashed out at Sports Council.
State Sports Council is organizing a night football match at TRC Ground under floodlights on l18-06-2019 for which Rs 30 lakh have been earmarked while Rs 10 lakh have been already released by the Council to a junior officer, who too is on deputation to the Council from the J&K Bank. The junior official was brought to the Sports Council by then Secretary and PDP leader Waheed-ur-Rehman Parra.
When The TRC Turf became operational in 2014 and immediately due to the flood, the ground got damaged. For face saving the ground was cleaned with combing machines by the contractor. However, the drainage system of the ground was never repaired. The present condition of the turf is bad as little rainfall makes it unplayable. Secondly from 2014 till present no combing machine has been purchased by the Sports Council till date.
The combing machines, which cost approximately five to six lakh rupees, could not be purchased by the Council while they are spending lakhs of rupees for a single match. The combing machine is a lifeline for any turf. Already the concerned players and experts have taken up the issue with the Council higher ups several times, but to no avail.
The condition of Polo Ground, which is barely some hundred meters away from the turf, is going from bad to worse as the surface of the Ground is in dilapidated condition. Most of the teams in Srinagar used to practice and play at Polo Ground for decades. When government can release Rs 30 lakhs for a single match, why can’t the money be spent for maintenance of grounds?
The condition of almost all the grounds, including Eidgah Ground, Qamarwari Ground, Gani Memorial Stadium, is pathetic, but the concerned authorities are least bothered. Instead of maintaining the grounds, the Sports Council has issued an order asking the teams and clubs to pay Rs 1000 per day for practice and matches, which is sheer injustice. Rather than promoting the game, they are discouraging the players by leveling heavy fee on practice and play.
Sports Council was created for development of grounds and other sports related infrastructure in the state. When Mr Parra was the Secretary of the Council, he forgot about the real mandate of the Council and started forming academies. As per the constitution of the Council, it was not his mandate. But to give benefit to his own people, he took these unconstitutional decisions. In 2017, the Council allotted Rs two crore each for State Football Academy and State Cricket Academy. The funds for these academies were not spent through proper channel i.e. chief sports officer or divisional sports officer. The funds were bypassed to the incharge of these academies, who were Parra’s blue-eyed people.
Sports Council claims it created academies in all the 22 districts of the state. However, on ground only two academies in Jammu and Srinagar are functionally. Even after Mr Parra’s exit as Secretary, the Council allotted further Rs 1.20 crores to these academies without following the codal formalities. The Sports Council released just Rs two lakh per annum to those associations, who conduct hundred of events throughout the state.