Guwahati, July 19: A section of bureaucrats in Dispur are busy clearing the decks for a permanent (99- year) lease of the Tepesia sports complex to Lakshmibai National University of Physical Education (LNUPE) for its Northeast campus.
The university is running from the complex on a lease of five years.
This initiative comes at a time when chief minister Tarun Gogoi has directed the Board of Sports of Assam (BSA) to review the lease agreements with two hotels being run in the board’s property.
Sources in the National Games Secretariat, the custodian of the infrastructure created for the 33rd National Games here, said some senior bureaucrats have almost completed the spadework for a 99-year lease of the infrastructure to the university.
According to sources in Dispur, the logic behind the proposed lease was that the infrastructure could not be maintained or utilised.
The infrastructure, spread over 225 bighas, comprises a velodrome, an indoor stadium, an archery range with dressing rooms, kho-kho and kabaddi turf with dressing rooms, football turf and a hostel, apart from a waterbody.
The university has been functioning here since July last year.
Nearly 100 students are enrolled on the campus.
According to an official, the government has proposed a bigger plot in the proposed educational hub on the city’s outskirts for the university campus.
“A 225-bigha plot is not enough for a university campus. It will need over 400 bighas for a full-fledged sports complex. If the Tepesia complex is leased out, the university will hardly have any option to expand the infrastructure due to space crunch. In fact, it will be like the SAI (Sports Authority of India) sub-centre at Newfield which is cramped due to lack of space,” the official said.
SAI was also offered a bigger plot in the Tetelia area in Guwahati in 1986, which was eventually dumped by the authorities because it was a low-lying area that needed earth filling.
Though the Tepesia infrastructure is stated to be in a 225-bigha property on paper, the actual plot measures only about 150 bighas with the rest being encroached upon.
Sports organisers are almost unanimous in their opinion against the proposed Tepesia lease.
Most of the organisers feel the infrastructure should be utilised to train sportspersons by setting up a centre of excellence under the Sports Authority of Assam.