PERAMBALUR: The sports stadium located near the Perambalur district collectorate has been in a dilapidated state for more than four years due to lack of maintenance, complained sportspersons and students. Due to this, the number of visitors to the stadium has drastically reduced, they added.
According to sources, the stadium which was built at the cost of Rs 1 crore was inaugurated by late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in 2010. It had provisions for swimming, volleyball, handball, football, cricket and badminton including a separate coach for each sport which is mostly absent now.
Regular visitors to the stadium pointed out that even parts of its platform were damaged. Moreover, there are no amenities for drinking water, toilets and lighting due to lack of maintenance.
Apart from this, the abandoned swimming pool which is not operating now has hampered the swimming lessons of eager students, complained school children.
Many former walkers in the stadium pointed out that the banner and inscription bearing the name of the stadium have been torn and damaged. Despite several complaints to the concerned department, no appropriate action has been taken yet, they added.
N Jayaraman, who used to walk in the stadium a few years back said, " The stadium was well-maintained for the first five years after it was set up. Many people, including a former district collector, used to walk here regularly. But after a while, the authorities neglected the maintenance of the stadium except on Republic Day and Independence Day."
"Thorny plants have overgrown in the premises due to which most people, including me, stopped taking strolls here," he added.
S Kalaiselvan, a differently abled sports person said, "I have won prizes in various sports such as running, cycling, swimming and kabaddi; even a gold medal in national level swimming competition. I used to train in this stadium. But nowadays, the swimming pool is mostly under repair forcing me to pay more and train at a private swimming pool. "
"Officials had promised that a synthetic track would be set up in this stadium for athletes. But no one has come forward to take any action in this regard. This has disappointed not only sportspersons but also aspiring students," he added.
When contacted, an official from the district sports department said, "We are aware of this issue and are taking steps to rectify this.”