THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The dismal state of sports in the State has by and large been attributed to the lack of infrastructure. Taking this allegation at face value, the sports administrators have, in principle, okayed the construction of two dozen multi-purpose stadiums in the State, of which two would be set up in the capital.
The grounds of Peyad Government UPS and Cotton Hill GHSS have been selected as the sites for construction of the stadiums.
The decision to construct multi-purpose sports venues was taken as part of the Playing Field Development Programme of the State Government.
However, this decision faltered at an early stage as the fund allotted to the schools were diverted for various other purposes like construction of boundary walls, ground fillings etc. It was then that the Sports Directorate began to venture into the construction of stadiums.
"The earlier decision to allow schools to handle the fund allotted under the scheme backfired. Sports infrastructure seldom benefited from the scheme and, instead, the boundary walls and floors of the schools began to get a facelift. So, the Directorate, with technical support from the National Games Committee, took up the responsibility of constructing the stadiums,” said Sports Directorate Assistant Director S Najumudeen.
The intention of the Directorate is quite clear: "Let everyone play.’’
The synthetic grounds in the stadiums will have the size of a basketball ground. But the basketball boards would be mobile and after use, they could be relocated to the store room.
The same ground could also be used as a volleyball court. If training mats are arranged, Taekwondo, wrestling and Wushu could be held on the same ground. Coincidentally, the decision of the Directorate to provide Taekwondo mats to all the district associations has come at the right time. Currently, the Government is planning to build 24 such multi-purpose grounds in all the districts.
A fund to the tune of Rs 3 crore has been allocated for this purpose.
The construction of the two stadiums in the city would amount to Rs 40 lakh. But the structures would remain roofless as the Directorate has decided to leave the responsibility of roofing to MP/MLA funds.
The responsibility of securing and maintaining the structure would lie with the school officials. The students and those who are authorised by the school officials can avail the facilities of the stadiums. The structures would be fenced to avoid trespassing.
The tender bidding process for construction has been completed. It is learnt that a Mumbai-based company has made the lowest bid.
The construction would begin once the Government gives its nod.