“Air-conditioning and sound and lighting systems will be refurbished''

The multi-purpose Jawaharlal Nehru indoor stadium in Chennai will be renovated at a cost of Rs. 10 crore, N.R. Sivapathi, Minister for School Education, Sports and Youth Welfare, said on Wednesday.

Wrapping up a debate on the demands for grants of his departments, Mr. Sivapathi told the Assembly that facilities in the stadium, including air-conditioning and sound and lighting systems, were established over 16 years ago. They would be refurbished. A skating rink would be established at a cost of Rs. 12 crore.

Tournaments for Chief Minister's trophy would be organised in badminton, swimming, table tennis and tennis. The first prize would be Rs. 1 lakh; second prize Rs. 75,000 and the third prize Rs. 25,000.

Steps would be taken for holding beach football, beach kabaddi and beach volleyball events in 10 coastal areas at a cost of Rs. 25 lakh. The government would set apart Rs. 1 crore for the Chennai Open for badminton, as was done in the case of tennis and squash.

A separate directorate for welfare of youth would be established and the member-secretary of the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu would be the ex-officio director.

Swimming pools would be formed at a cost of Rs. 2 crore in the district auditoriums of Namakkal and Tiruvallur, the Minister said.

A centre for sports science would be established on the campus of the Tamil Nadu Physical Education and Sports University and Rs. 2.20 crore would be set apart.

During the debate on the demands for grants of the School Education Department, Pattali Makkal Katchi member A. Ganeshkumar wanted the government to extend the system of school fee payment in Madurai to other districts.

In Madurai, the payment was being made at the office of Inspector of Matriculation Schools which would arrange for the disbursal of the fees collected to the respective schools accordingly. K. Balakrishnan (CPI-M) suggested that the payment be made through offices of Treasuries and Accounts. T. Ramachandiran (CPI) wanted the scheme of reservation, as provided in the RTE Act, to be implemented in international schools too.