IOA slams Sports Ministry for lack of access to CWG venues

New Delhi: Indian Olympic Association`s Acting President Vijay Kumar Malhotra accused the Sports Ministry of denying access to Commonwealth Games venues to athletes and sports federations, saying facilities such as the Jawahar Lal Nehru stadium are gradually becoming junkyards.

Malhotra said around Rs 30,000 crore were spent on building the infrastructure for the Games.

"About Rs 1000 crore spent on Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium renovation/reconstruction and it has not been used since 15th October 2010. All the left over material is dumped there, turning it to be most expensive Junkyard in the world," Malhotra said in a statement.

"The Rs 70-crore Balloon Aerostat which was opposed by me forms the part of the Junk now lying there. The other expensive stadiums are lying idle and are locked and keys are with Government. They are becoming breeding grounds for mosquitoes and may turn out to be major health hazards," he added.

Malhotra alleged that the Shivaji stadium is still not ready and "has already overshot the budget and is likely to cross Rs 200-crore mark."

"Sportspersons are not being allowed to train or practices in these stadiums. Even athletes going to World championship, were denied permission to train in JN stadium," he said.

"It is surprising that while stadiums are not being used, the chairs have been broken, electricity and other equipments have vanished and some areas vandalized. Their restoration is going to costs millions," he added.

Malhotra said he suspects a mafia at work trying to dismantle the property.

"Is any mafia involved in this vandalism, to start another loot of government exchequer in the name of renovation?" he asked.

The IOA chief said the Games Village has no occupant even after one year of the event despite flats being sold.

"Games Village is turning out to be bigger scam. No resident has moved in the 1,000 flats built at around Rs 2,800- crore. Though about 400 people have paid for the flats," he said.

"This is only the gist not the comprehensive document of the misdeeds of the Government. Neither Indian Olympic Association nor any National Sports Federation (NSF) is responsible in the construction or upkeep of these stadiums.”

"Sportspersons and NSF are prohibited to use these stadiums and Sports Minister has the temerity to ask IOA and NSF about the legacy of the CWG," he added.


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