NEW DELHI:As the NDA government is busy preparing a blueprint for setting up 100 smart cities, sports minister Sarbananda Sonowal has stressed the need of adequate sporting facilities in these new townships.
Sonowal has written to urban development minister Venkaiah Naidu, urging him to provide playgrounds, athletic tracks, fitness and recreation centres which would help creating health infrastructure for the new inhabitants. “One of the key elements identified in the Prime Minister’s vision of building 100 smart cities in India is provision of state-of-the-art health facilities in every city. By extension, smart cities should also have world class sports and fitness centres and sufficient numbers of play fields, as these are essential for a healthy and fit population,” the letter said.
The sports minister made case for sporting facilities to help the urban population fight lifestyle diseases and also help find an outlet from the punishing work schedule. The smart cities will aim to provide better living standards for the urban population using smart technologies. Work is on to identity 100 such areas and cities where these world class facilities could be provided. Sports facilities would also serve the purpose of nurturing sporting talent, as India wants to increase its medal tally in the world events.
Though the sports minister has pitched for creating more facilities, the existing sporting infrastructure in cities like Delhi, built for the Commonwealth Games, are not used to their full potential. The government should find ways for their maximum use.