In the first full fledged meeting of the organising committee of the 35th National Games, Sports Minister K B Ganesh Kumar said that the games will be held as scheduled and the state will have the best sports infrastructure in the country by December 2013.
“Due to the delay in construction activities in five venues, the contractors were black listed and tenders were floated again. Apart from those, all other works would be finished ahead of the games. After that the state would be a step ahead of Europe in the case of sports infrastructure,” the Minister said, at the meeting held in Thiruvananthapuram.
He said that unlike the Commonwealth Games, the national games would be held on a moderate budget and special plans in that way had been tailored during his visit to the London Olympics.Regarding the budget, the Minister said that Rs 611.3 crore was required for hosting the games and the Central Government’s contribution was just Rs 122 crore. So far, Rs 63 crore had been spent for the national games preparation.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy assured the State Government’s full cooperation for conducting the games. However more conspicuous was the absence of the secretary or president of the Kerala Olympic Association (KOA), which gave an impression that the tug of war between the KOA and the Minister was yet to die down.Except the expected verbal duel, the meeting failed to elicit any positive result. The much awaited queries such as the date of completion of the work on five venues including basketball stadium in Kannur, hockey stadium in Kollam, and squash venue in Thiruvananthapuram were left unanswered.The meeting was attended by Revenue Minister Adoor Prakash, National Games Secretariat CEO Jacob Punnoose, Sports Council president Padmini Thomas.