Broken window panes, poor sports infrastructure, inadequate drinking water and toilet facilities, and a building in deplorable condition – that is the state of Mahatma Gandhi Stadium here.
Yet it is used by hundreds of sports persons everyday as they are left with no choice.
Maintained by Sports Authority of India, the stadium is the only place available for sports persons here to undergo training and unleash their talent.
After its construction in 1972, no renovation work was carried out in the last 40 years despite requests from sports persons and walkers for improving the basic amenities. Drinking water is available only in a plastic tank on the premises, no doctors or first aid facilities are available, and there is no proper lighting in the indoor stadium there are no athletic tracks.
Despite all these flaws, over 300 students are currently attending the summer camps in the stadium.
“Infrastructure is very poor and the height of the ground level was increased by 2 ft last year,” said a sports person.
With the demand for its renovation gathering momentum, the government has sanctioned Rs. 1 crore for it. A 400 m athletic track, a football ground, grass lawns, and a walker’s path would be created at a cost of Rs. 60 lakh. Volleyball and basket ball courts will be renovated. Infrastructure including toilet facilties will be improved.
“Under the ‘Self Sufficiency Scheme,’ the people can contribute one-third of the total project cost that would be around Rs. 30 lakh. They can send cheques or demand draft in the name of ‘The Collector/Chairman, District Rural Development Agency, Salem District,” said Sandeep Nanduri, Additional Collector (Development) and Project Director DRDA, Salem.
“Work will be completed in three months,” he added.
Work to be completed in