Don`t let sports facilities rust like Nehru Stadium: Jaitley
New Delhi: BJP leader Arun Jaitley today alleged neglect of sports infrastructure built with massive spendings for Commonwealth Games, saying the stadia and other facilities have been "allowed to rust owing to disuse".
"Many sporting infrastructure were built during the CWG as well as the last two Asian Games here. Nehru Stadium which was built for the 1982 Asiad underwent a Rs 970-crore renovation in the run up to the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Despite that, today, it has been allowed to rust owing to disuse," the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha said.
Jaitley was speaking here after laying the foundation stone for the North Delhi Municipal Corporation`s first physical education centre.
The centre to be built in "a year`s time" at a cost of around Rs eight crore will come up on nearly three acres of land in Satyawati Nagar in the Wazirpur Legislative Assembly area.
"It will have a table tennis hall, a basket ball court, a lawn tennis court and a badminton court, a gymnasium, three cricket net practice areas, a cafeteria, kids play area and walkway," North Delhi Municipal Corporation public relations officer Yogendra Singh Mann said.
Jaitley congratulated ward councillors, and BJP party members on the occasion but sounded "a word of caution for the administrators".
"A note of caution to the officials on this occasion. Take good care of the facility. Don`t let it fall into disuse. The more people use it, the better will it be. Ten years hence, no one should call it a run-down sporting premises ," he said.
Citing instances of national coach Pullela Gopichand and his badminton academy, the BJP senior leader asked the officials to use the space to especially focus on few sports.
"Try to find few sports to promote, instead of doing everything. Gopichand`s badminton academy is producing not mere sportspersons but medal winners for the nation. So, try to provide facilities so that we can bring out champions from here," Jaitley said.
"I hope this will also bring children and youth of the city to the playing fields and premises as the academic and career pressure have taken them away from open field sporting activities," he said.
Delhi Unit BJP chief Vijay Goel and North Delhi mayor Azad Singh were also present on the occasion.