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Hope floats for varsity of sports

If all goes well, a fresh tender inviting companies to partner the state in setting up the much-delayed national sports university in Ranchi is likely to be floated in July.

The state sports department, which is claiming to have completed the groundwork for issuing the tender, is hopeful of getting bidders this time after three companies responded to a global expression of interest (EOI) taken out by it in January. The department now wants to take that process to a logical conclusion and invite companies to set up the university teaching various disciplines in sports at the multi-crore Hotwar stadium built during the 34th National Games.

The project will be executed on public-private partnership mode on a 51:49 ratio with the state government holding the minor share.

“The national sports varsity is long due, but the department is trying its best to make it a reality for the benefit of the future generation. JINFRA (Jharkhand Infrastructure Development Corporation), a consultancy advising us, has now submitted a final bid document after taking into suggestions offered by the three private players, who had responded to the EOI,” sports director Dadan Choubey told The Telegraph.

The government first announced the plan to set up the university during the concluding ceremony of the 34th National Games in 2011 and took its first step by floating tenders.

But not a single company responded, necessitating a re-look at the clauses and floating of the EOI.

While big-ticket investors like the Tatas, Jindals and the Abhijeet group or PSUs such as Mecon, Central Coalfields Limited — all known for their efforts to promote sports — stayed away, the state received EOIs from three outstation companies.

These are Bangalore-headquartered SPT Sports Management Pvt Ltd and Mumbai-based Jain Associates and IL&FS. Sources said the firms put forward some suggestions for partnering the state in the project.

“JINFRA, after evaluating their proposals and several rounds of consultations, has now prepared a final bid document and submitted it to us sometime ago. The document is currently awaiting a departmental nod, which will come soon. In all probabilities, we will be able to float tenders in July,” Choubey added.

He, however, did not share details about the suggestions as those were yet to be formally approved. “The state will provide infrastructure while the chosen firm/s will have to set up and run academies in various disciplines on their own,” Choubey said.