Special Correspondent

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A meeting of the key officials of the National Games Organising Committee (NGOC) took stock of the preparations for the 35th National Games to be hosted by the State in May next year.

Various issues connected with the conduct of the Games came up for discussion at the 90-minute-long meeting, presided over by the Sports Minister M. Vijayakumar and attended by the Revenue Minister K.P. Rajendran, Public Works Minister Mons Joseph, Forest Minister Benoy Viswam, the KSSC President T.P. Dasan, the KOA President M.M. Abdul Rehman besides top government officials.

The discussions were based on a report presented by the KSSC President Mr. Dasan, on the progress made in several fronts with regard to the preparations. In his presidential address, Mr. Vijayakumar said efforts were directed to rally the entire populace of the State towards the smooth conduct of the Games. The message of the Games should find its echo in each household across the State, he added.

The Forest Minister stressed the need to adopt environmental friendly measures in all the new stadiums which were being constructed as part of the Games.

The Public Works Minister, in his brief address, said his department was fully geared up to assist the organisers of the Games by way of taking the allied projects like roads.

Intervening in the discussion, Mr. Rajendran spoke about the measures being taken by the Revenue department for the transfer of land, required for all the new projects. This, he said, would be completed by the middle of the next month.

Positive approach

The Government has always taken a positive approach in allotting land for sports projects. There have been instances too when certain associations had failed to reciprocate the Government’s gesture.

“We had on our own offered 30 acres of land, free of cost, to the Kerala Cricket Association for the construction of a full-fledged cricket stadium in the State. However, after two rounds of discussion, the KCA just backed out without citing any valid reason,” said Mr. Rajendran.

The meeting was also told about the constitution of the various State-level committees to assist the efforts of the NGOC and the National Games Secretariat. Each of these Committees will be headed by Ministers while a senior government official will be the convenor.

The membership of all the Committees will be limited to 15 persons. All the Committees will also have their initial meetings by July 15.

The constitution of the Local Organising Committees (LOCs), to oversee preparations at the other centres, will also be completed by the same day. The LOCs in each district will be headed by the concerned Minister in charge of these districts.

The District Collectors concerned will be the general convenor while the Presidents of the District Sports Council will be coordinators. A final picture of the renovation works to be undertaken will be known only by June 19 once the project management consultant came up with its report. Work on the new projects will also be taken up simultaneously.

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