KOCHI: The synthetic track at Maharaja’s College ground — the first of its kind to be built on a college campus in the state — has been in dire straits since 2014. There was long-pending demand from college authorities, students and patrons to fix the track. It seems the pleas have been finally heard, as the state has given administrative sanction for a proposal submitted by the college.
The college authorities are upbeat to get the process started at the earliest. “The state government has allocated `6.9 crore for the purpose,” said Mathew George, principal, Maharajas College. According to him, the detailed project report (DPR) has been prepared by the Public Works Department (PWD). “They are the implementing agency. The college will be forming a committee to monitor the progress of the work. This will happen in the coming days,” he added.
The committee is being formed so that even if the head of the institution gets transferred or retires, the progress of the work will not be affected. Along with the laying of the synthetic track, other repair and renovation works will also be carried out at the stadium. The track was laid in 2006 and is being used by athletes and joggers frequently. After the track’s condition deteriorated due to lack of proper maintenance, athletes and joggers were apprehensive of getting injured. Complaints were also raised regarding the recent hike in fees for using the track, despite no move to repair it.
The fund for the renovation is being allocated from this year’s budget. “Now that the fund for the stadium has been sanctioned, we will renovate the hockey ground next,” said the principal. At present, the hockey ground is waterlogged with overgrown weed covering the area. The renovation will cost `3 crore. He said the Sports Council had approached the college with an offer to renovate the ground. “But once that happens, they will claim the ownership of the turf. So we dropped that idea.”
The once-thriving turf hit a bad patch after it was handed over to KMRL for the construction of the Maharaja’s Metro Station. “Earlier, a proposal was drawn up for the renovation of the turf using the compensation amount besides other works. But plans didn’t materialise,” added the principal.