The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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SAI school schemes again

Siliguri, Dec. 1: The Sports Authority of India (SAI) is set to play a bigger role in developing sports in the region.

SAI will consider reviving the National Sports Talent Contest (NSTC) scheme in two schools in Kurseong, Dow Hill and Victoria, provided the state government upgrades the sporting infrastructure in these two institutions.

This was announced by SAI eastern centre's regional director P.C. Kashyap here today. Kashyap was in Siliguri to sign a MoU with Neelam Meena, chief executive officer of the Siliguri-Jalpaiguri Development Authority (SJDA), for the setting up of a Rs 10 crore ultra-modern sports complex at Naukaghat near here.

SAI introduced the scheme in the two state government-owned schools in the late 80s. In 2000 the scheme was withdrawn totally before being revived partially in 2003. The scheme provides specialised training to talented youngsters, besides taking care of their education.

Kashyap said at the moment, the facilities in the institutions were inadequate which is why SAI had decided to withdraw the scheme. However, Kashyap added: 'I held a meeting with the principal education secretary, D. Chakrabarty, recently. He assured me that the (sporting) facility would be upgraded in the two schools. Once that is done, we will revive the scheme.'

The SAI sports complex here will be spread over 15.5 acres and will have two football fields, a synthetic athletics track, a swimming pool, kabaddi fields, a 100-bed hostel and a multi-purpose hall.

'We are giving the land free of cost,' said Asok Bhattacharya, urban development minister and SJDA chairman.

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