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Double fault at ace sports facilities

The city still lags several laps away from churning out a sportsperson as it simply lacks infrastructure.

From the decades-old Moinul Haque Stadium to last year’s Patliputra Sports Complex — negligence was literally written on the wall in making the government efforts, if any, fruitful to promote sporting activities in the state.

The sorry picture of both the facilities also raises a question because at present chief minister Nitish Kumar is heading the department (art, culture and youth affairs), which is responsible for maintenance of both complexes.

Recently, when The Telegraph visited Patliputra Sports Complex, it found many things in an abysmal state. Broken windowpanes greet visitors at the main building. Cracks can also be spotted in many portions of the building, which was inaugurated just 21 months ago.

The stadium, meant for hosting athletics events, is also in a bad shape with overgrown wild grass becoming an eyesore of any sports lover. Besides, holders hanging without fans at the stadium, marble tiles displaced from the stairs at many points, used food packets and plastic glasses strewn at several places on the greens were hardly to be avoided from a visitor.

It was evident that no one bothered to clean the stadium after events. Not even players thought once before leaving the food packets and plastic glasses on ground, which is a normal etiquette to be kept in mind by every sportsperson.

In its inaugural year, the Rs 45-crore stadium hosted Women World Cup Kabaddi Championship.

Sources said the government developed this sports complex to host international championship in the state but the vision hardly matched the reality. About the poor condition of the indoor stadium, a 21-year-old athlete, who did not wish to be named, said: “How can the authorities concerned be so careless about the upkeep of this complex? There is hardly any proper playground for the sportsperson in this state,” she said.

The other stadium, Moinul Haque, also paints a picture of utter neglect. Looking at the present state, the teenagers would never believe that this same stadium hosted two one-day international matches during World Cup 17 years ago.

All the three scoreboards, mostly defunct, are broken from many sides. Stray animals could be found loitering on the ground even during ongoing matches. During one of the matches of the 64th Football Championship, organised by Patliputra Football Association, stray animals and cattle seemed to have made a recce of the ground. If that is not enough to irritate sports lovers, they can also come across another bizarre sight whenever they visit Moinul Haque Stadium, a part which has turned into a garbage dumping site. BSF personnel drying their clothes in the stadium campus is a very common sight, which was also evident during Monday’s football match. People urinating on the stadium greens was not rare even during the matches.

Mohammad Afzal Alam, the vice-captain of the Danapur team, which participated in Monday’s football match, was also not happy to see the condition of Moinul Haque Stadium. “As a sportsperson, it really hurts when you see this kind of condition of a sport facility,” he said.

Sameer Kumar Mahaseth, patron, Patliputra Football Association, rued: “We have paid around Rs 2 lakh for booking this ground. But we feel cheated because there is not even a proper scoreboard here.”

Chanchal Kumar, secretary, art, culture and youth affairs department, said: “We are not happy with the agency which is looking after the maintenance of Patliputra Sports Complex. We have begun the process of choosing another agency. The directorate of youth welfare and sports, which runs under our department, is responsible for the upkeep of Moinul Haque Stadium. They have not asked for funds for its renovation but we from our side have suggested them to renovate the stadium. I have told the director if he needs funds for renovation, we would provide him funds.”

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