The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has lamented the poor conditions of the stadia built at huge cost for the Commonwealth Games.
IOA acting President Prof. V.K. Malhotra, in a statement released on Tuesday, criticised the government for keeping the sports complexes, erected using tax-payers' money, unutilised. He requested the government not to let the stadia become “white elephants” and allow sportspersons and sports bodies to utilise them.
Referring to a story on a television channel about the pathetic conditions of these stadia, Prof. Malhotra said, “One was shocked to see the report which showed Talkatora, Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium and the cycling track in a shambles. No authority is interested in maintaining them.”
He pointed out that heaps of garbage could be seen in the Nehru Stadium and the track for athletics had developed cracks. “If nobody has used this stadium, how come seats have either been broken or are missing?”
Prof. Malhotra raised doubts whether the stadia were not being used because of their “poor quality of construction.”
Urgent steps needed
He said it was high time the Sports Authority of India (SAI) took urgent steps to make the stadia available to sportspersons and federations. “It is the duty of the Sports Ministry and the SAI to let the players make the maximum use of the stadia and the facilities, but they are doing the opposite.”
Prof. Malhotra said there was an urgent need for sports hostels for athletes and teams coming here for training or participating in different tournaments.
“Earlier, the Nehru Stadium used to have residential facilities for them, but now there is nothing. The Sports Ministry and the SAI must come out with a plan for the residential facility,” he said.