District athletics association wants free access to Berhampur stadium

Berhampur, Odisha: Ganjam district Athletic Associatoin has decided to seek permission from Odisha government to use Berhampur stadium free of cost.

The stadium, managed by the sports department, currently charges Rs 500 a day.

"We get only Rs 45,000 annually as grants from the state government. With this, we have to conduct tournaments and coaching camps. This becomes even more difficult with the stadium authorities charging Rs 500 a day," said associaton`s General Secretary, J Kameswara Rao.

The decision to approach the government was taken at a meeting of the association, presided over by district collector-cum-president Prem Chand Choudhury, recently.

Most sporting activities in the town are conducted at Berhampur stadium. Khallikote College Stadium and the medical college grounds. All of them charge a hefty fee for letting out their grounds. "We need space where such acitivities can be held free of cost," Rao said.

Almost all district athletic association have their own grounds, he said. "We request the government to construct a stadium for us", he said.

The district collector said two more stadia would soon be constructed in Berhampur, at KC Town High School and City High School. The government had sanctioned Rs 25 lakh for each, he said.

He also said coaching camps could be conducted across the district, instead of Berhampur town. The stadium has remained out of bounds for sportspersons for the last two years due to ongoing repairs. The collector asked officials to expedite the work.

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