Malhotra wants CWG venues opened to sportspersons


New Delhi : The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) Tuesday cautioned the sports ministry that expensive stadiums built for the Commonwealth games may soon become “heritage sites” if they are not thrown open to sportspersons and federations for training.

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IOA’s acting president Vijay Kumar Malhotra in a letter to the sports ministry expressed concern at the stadiums not being used after the games, which took place almost a year back.

“Why so much tax-payers’ money was sunk in building them if these were to be kept under lock and key? One was shocked to see the report which showed Talkatora, JawaharLal Nehru Stadium, Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium, cycling track in shambles,” Malhotra said in his letter.

“No authority is interested in maintaining them. Huge garbage is littered around Nehru Stadium while tracks are showing signs of cracks. If nobody has used these stadiums, how come seats have either been broken or missing and there is so much mess there?” he asked.

Malhotra said there are apprehensions in some sections that stadiums are not being used because of the poor quality of construction and they may turn out to be safety hazard for the sportspersons and the public.

Malhotra said: “All over the world, the stadiums are put into use immediately after the completions of the event for which they were built, but here nobody seems to have a clue as how to use them. These stadiums are built to promote the sports, but sportspersons are not allowed to play or practice there. Don’t let them be white elephents”.

“It is the duty of the sports ministry and SAI (Sports Authority of India) to let players make maximum use of the stadiums and facilities but they are doing the opposite, not letting them use these facilities and thus creating unnecessary controversies,” he said.

Malhotra also said there is an urgent need for sports hostel and asked the sports ministry and the SAI to come out with a residential facility for players.