BANGALORE: Cash-strapped Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is gearing up to organise ‘Mayor Cup’, a national-level Kabaddi tournament at a cost of Rs 2 crore in April 2012. After 1996, National Kabaddi Tournament was organised by Palike in 2011, where 22 Men’s and 16 women’s teams across the country participated in the four-day tournament with more than 60 matches played. This year too, Palike is planning to organise Kabaddi tournament for Mayor Cup.
Speaking to Express, Ramesh Babu, Chairperson, Standing Committee (Education) said that they have not fixed the date for the tournament. “We are planning to observe Kempegowda Day celebrations on April 5 and 6, this year. The tournament will be organised before Kempegowda Day,” he said. When asked about the details of the tournaments, Babu said that it is too early to reveal the details. “But it will be bigger than the previous year,” said.
He also said that 28 teams from outside Bangalore are expected to participate in the tournament. When contacted, Mayor Sharadamma said preliminary meeting on the tournament had been conducted. “In another two to three meetings, we will get a clear picture. However, we will not spend more than the funds allocated,” she assured
BBMP has earmarked Rs 50 lakh for Mayor Cup in the budget 2011-12. According to an official source from BBMP, with the funds allotted it is not possible for BBMP to host national level tournament. “The tournament will be a four-day event, where 28 teams across the country are participating. More than 300 people will be participating. There is a need for BBMP to arrange for lodging and boarding,” official said.
Apart from arranging lodging and boarding BBMP also needs to arrange a proper ground. Moreover, the winners and runners up will get cash prizes too.
Further, officials said that BBMP does not have sufficient funds. “We even do not have the allotted fund of Rs 50 lakh. So we are planning to seek private sponsors including hotels. We need atleast Rs 2 crore and it is not possible to spend the amount from the BBMP funds,” official said.
Opposition leader M Udayshankar urged ruling party members to organise the event within the allotted funds. “One should not make it a prestigious issue. BBMP financial status is in a bad state. Now BBMP properties are being mortgaged. So, it is better to spend as less as it can,” he said. It can be recalled here that a couple of months ago, Deputy Mayor S Harish had organised Vajpayee Cup, national-level Volley ball tournament.
Meanwhile, officials also make a note that for the past many years, sports accessories to BBMP schools has not been given. “It is unfortunate that they are interested in organising Mayor Cup than encouraging BBMP school children,” official added.