Guwahati, Sept. 6: Sports Authority of Assam will take a call on how to give a fresh lease of life to the sports infrastructure created for the 33rd National Games when it meets for its fourth governing body meeting here on September 11.
Confirming that SAA chairman and chief minister Tarun Gogoi will convene the meeting on September 11, the autonomous body’s vice-chairman Rana Goswami said a detailed discussion would be held on ways and means to maintain the infrastructure and its proper utilisation.
The authority will meet after nearly one-and-a-half years after its previous meeting on April 2 last year where it was decided to engage the Guwahati Municipal Corporation for the maintenance of the stadia which, however, never materialised.
The meeting assumes significance after the chief minister last evening categorically stated that not a single existing infrastructure in the state would be handed over to any central agency, including the Sports Authority of India, and would be maintained and used by the state itself.
He added that the state government would co-operate if SAI wants to develop new infrastructure in the state.
Ruling out the possibility of handing over the infrastructure to any other organisation, including central agencies, Goswami said, “The meeting will transact on the chief minister’s proposal to the SAA to earn revenue itself and utilise it for the maintenance and development of various sports.”
Gogoi had recently expressed his interest in developing the infrastructure into a recreational arena to earn the necessary revenue to maintain the stadia in it.
His idea was on the lines of similar infrastructure abroad where they create resources within the complex to earn revenue.
The chief minister’s idea includes creation of a park, jogger’s track et al from which revenue could be earned on a regular basis to maintain the infrastructure.
Goswami said the meeting would discuss the problem for the funds to engage an architect to design the arena because SAA will have to pay a fee in advance which the government rules that SAA follows do not permit.
The electronic scoreboard at Indira Gandhi Athletics Stadium and the M. Tayebulla Hockey Stadium have been out of order for over five years and their repair work has also tumbled on a similar funds constraint to pay the advance repair fee to the German firm that maintains the equipment.
Though SAA has earned over Rs 1 crore by renting out various stadia last year, Goswami said the funds were allowed to be used only for the purpose of salaries to its 90-odd employees.
There was no provision for utilisation of a portion of it for development and upkeep of the stadia, he added.