New Delhi: With an objective to boost the sporting activities in the state, the Sports Ministry on Friday formally sanctioned a central assistance of Rs 200 crore to Jammu and Kashmir.
Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has said that sports play a crucial role in the physical fitness and well being of people, apart from contributing to social inclusiveness, gender equality and youth development.
He was speaking at the opening ceremony of 61st National School Games 2015 in the discipline of football Under-19 boys category at Bakshi Stadium in Srinagar today.
He congratulated the athletes who gathered there to participate in the National Games 2015 and wished them best of luck. He also appreciated the initiative taken by the state government and the organisers to host such a mega sports event at Srinagar.
He further stated that Jammu and Kashmir has a lot of sporting talent which is not finding expression due to inadequate sports facilities. At the initiative of the Prime Minister, the Union Finance Minister, in the Union Budget for 2014-15 announced a special package of Rs 200 crore for development of sports infrastructure in Jammu and Kashmir.
Out of this amount, Rs 88 crore will be provided for renovation/upgradation of Bakshi Stadium at Srinagar, M A Stadium at Jammu and other works, which will include laying of synthetic athletic track, synthetic hockey turf, construction of swimming pool and multi-purpose hall in both these capital districts.
Rs. 52 crore will be provided for upgradation of existing stadia at Poonch and Rajouri and construction of indoor hall in each of remaining 12 districts. These works will be undertaken by the state government for which 50 per cent of sanctioned funds will be provided shortly.
Apart from the above, central assistance of Rs 60 crore will be provided to Jammu and Kashmir over a period of five years for procurement of sports equipments, training of coaches and holding sports competitions. This financial assistance from the central government will boost the sports activities in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, a statement from the Sports Ministry said.
Earlier, Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mufti Mohd Sayeed declared the opening of 61st National School Games 2015 in the presence of Sonowal.
The Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir also appreciated the efforts of the central government in boosting sports activities in the state.