With the 2012 London Olympics just 15 months away, the sports ministry today decided to form a four—member committee comprising sportspersons, to utilise all stadia built during the Commonwealth Games for the preparation of national teams.

Newly—appointed union sports minister Ajay Maken today visited all stadia of SAI to oversee their maintenance and said they are coming out with a blueprint for the proper use of these infrastructure.

“We have decided to form a committee comprising former and current sportspersons like PT Usha, Mary Kom, Baichung Bhutia and Dilip Tirkey. Veteran journalist K Datta will also be a member of the committee, headed by the secretary of sports,” Maken told reporters at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium here.

“We have requested these renowned sportspersons to give us suggestions within four weeks as how can we best utilise the stadia. They will have their first meeting on Monday,” he added.

Maken said all the stadia would be used by national teams for preparation of the 2012 London Olympics, besides hosting competitions and as academies to train budding athletes.

“We will use these stadia mainly for three purposes. One, for the children and budding players we intend to use it as academies. Two, keeping in view the London Olympics we will use these for the training of the national teams, and three, to host international and national tournaments,” he said.

“We are also making an annual calendar for hosting tournaments here,” he added.

Asked about the maintenance of the stadia, Maken said they have decided to entrust the responsibility on NDMC, SAI and the CPWD.

“As far as the maintenance is concerned, we have decided to hand over three of the five stadia to NDMC for cleaning and scavenging. Rest of the two stadia will be maintained by SAI authorities.

“Also CPWD has constructed these stadia. Till now the CPWD had to do the maintenance till March 31 so we are considering to allow CPWD to further maintain these stadia as they are in a better position. So instead of going for a PPP model, the government would like to see that these are maintained properly,” he said.

Maken said the government would do everything possible to ensure that the national athletes get enough time to train for the London Olympics in these international stadiums.

“During the Commonwealth Games the idea was to give the the national players at least 8—10 months to train in these stadia. But unfortunately it wasn’t possible. So what we couldn’t do then, we would like to do it now. I want the stadia to open for the national teams as soon as possible,” he said.

“We have 15 months time for the London Olympics and SAI has been in active touch with the federations and the committee that we have formed they will have roughly a 30—day time.

“We also have to look at the staying arrangements of the athletes so that they don’t face any inconvenience during their training here.

“We are in consultation with DDA and this is on top of our priority and we will do everything possible to give our athletes proper infrastructure to train for the London Olympics,” he said.

The sports minister visited Dr SPM Swimming Complex, National Stadium, IGI Stadium and Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range, besides the JNL Stadium here.

Maken also wished the Indian cricket team luck ahead of the forthcoming World Cup.

“Not only as a sport minister but also as an ordinary Indian I think we stand a good chance of winning the World Cup, let’s give it as a gift to Sachin (Tendulkar).

“All the citizens, everybody wants India to win the World Cup and I wish all the best to the team,” he said.

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