SHAPING UP? Birsa Munda Athletics Stadium and Astroturf Hockey Stadium in Ranchi will soon boast fitness hubs
What they need: urgent repairs. What they shall get: fancy gyms.
At a time when new stadiums are wallowing in neglect, the state sports department is planning to equip them with multi-gyms after a similar proposal floated two years ago came a cropper.
The fitness hubs will come up at all the nine stadiums of Jaipal Singh Munda Mega Sports Complex in Hotwar and two at Morabadi. Officials in the sports department reasoned that these dedicated workout zones were necessary to ensure both local and visiting players followed a strict fitness regime during tournaments and practice sessions.
“Fitness can be achieved through scientific coaching and methodical training at gyms. As all sportspersons need to be high on stamina and energy, we are planning to install gyms at the stadiums. These will come up in phases,” state sports director Ashok Kumar told The Telegraph on Tuesday.
In the first phase, the two stadiums of Morabadi and one at the mega sports complex will get the gyms.
“We are going to float a tender anytime soon for setting up workout zones at Birsa Munda Football Stadium and Astroturf Hockey Stadium in Morabadi and the athletics stadium in Hotwar. Once this is done, other stadiums will be taken up, depending on the quality of work. Preparation f tender documents is in the final stages,” Kumar said.
According to initial estimates, each multi-gym is expected to cost Rs 8-9 lakh.
The state sports department first mooted the idea of installing multi-gyms at the nine stadiums of Hotwar game zone in July 2011, a few months after the 34th National Games. However, officials are clueless about the fate of that proposal.
Kumar, too, did not offer any explanation about why the plan fell through, but said they could start afresh as the old tender was valid for only six months.
A source in the departmental revealed that although a couple of companies did show interest in setting up gyms and supplying equipment, a formal decision couldn’t be taken by the government.
“Moreover, everyone got busy planing junkets apparently to prepare the groundwork for establishing a sports university and excellence centre at the mega sports complex. Hope this time, the plan materialises,” the official said.
An official of Hockey Jharkhand, which has its office at astroturf stadium in Morabadi, was particularly sceptical. “After National Games, no vendor will be ever be ready to work in Jharkhand again. This is because the previous firms are still running from pillar to post for payments,” he claimed. The multi-crore Astroturf Hockey Stadium is in a state of rot. On August 5, The Telegraph reported how the Rs 1.5-crore artificial turf, which was laid in 2007 and was expected to last a decade, was turning black because of ack of maintenance.
“The stadium urgently needs a cleaning machine, which costs around Rs 15lakh to Rs 18lakh. Tenders for buying the equipment had been floated in the past, but suppliers made it clear they would provide the machine only after 50 per cent payment was made,” the official said.
More than gyms, the government needed to first ensure proper upkeep of stadiums, he said.