A. Joseph Antony
D. Murali Mohan's role will be to provide infrastructure for the World Military Games
Works on the Games Village progressing satisfactorily Estimated to cost Rs. 72 crore, it will be in place by August
HYDERABAD: The staging of the World Military Games in Hyderabad and Mumbai in October will be the biggest challenge D. Murali Mohan faces as Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of the Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh (SAAP). His role will mostly be in overseeing the three major tasks SAAP has been entrusted with, viz., providing infrastructure, accommodation and raising a force of volunteers for the week-long spectacle.
About to complete a month in office, he spoke to The Hindu on the road ahead, spelling out some of his plans and priorities.
Works on the Games Village is progressing satisfactorily and will provide three-star quality accommodation with centralised air-conditioning to nearly 750 sportspersons. Estimated to cost Rs. 72 crore, the structure will be in place by August, he said. Existing infrastructure will need renovation to make it competition-worthy. The SAAP has also initiated steps to raise 3000 volunteers from colleges from across the twin cities, towards which he had written to the concerned authorities.
On the nagging rewards programme for achievers in last year's Melbourne Commonwealth Games, the Asian Games at Doha and the more recent Guwahati National Games, he said the fourth quarter budget release of Rs. 5 crores should be sufficient to honour commitments the Government had made to sportspersons.
There is also a proposal for the Government to set aside Rs. 6 crore each year to reward sports achievers, in addition to the plan and non-plan budget amounts of Rs. 20 and Rs. 10 crores respectively.
A review is also under way to restrict the number of academies to one per sport against the 35 such existing institutions across the State in a bid to optimise services of coaches and utilisation of infrastructure. This will prune staff strength and curtail expenditure.
An Indian Information Service (IIS) Officer, Murali Mohan, himself a former athlete, hopes to bring home some of his experience from the arena of competition to the workplace.