The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Rang Ghar & Rongmon on Games banner

Guwahati, June 23: Dispur today declared the historical Rang Ghar, the symbol of sporting activity in Assam under Ahom rule, as the logo for the 33rd National Games from October 5 to 14.

The organising committee, reconstituted thrice, discussed three designs for the logo before settling for the 18th century monument at Joysagar in Sivasagar district. The other two designs had the rhino and the Rang Ghar together in different formats.

The rhino (Rongmon) lost the logo race as it is already the mascot for the Games.

The Rang Ghar, the largest ancient amphitheatre in Asia, had been used by Ahom royalty to stage spectacles such as bull and elephant fights. Its claim to fame in the modern era has been as the birthplace of the banned Ulfa. The militant organisation was born in the courtyard of the Rang ghar on April 7, 1979.

The logo will henceforth be used in everything connected to the National Games.

Apart from finalising the logo, the meeting, chaired by chief minister Tarun Gogoi ' he is also the president of the organising committee ' set the first week of September as the deadline for handing possession of all Games-related infrastructure. The event was originally slated for last year, but delayed preparations forced a postponement.

The organising committee agreed that the state contingent for the Games would require at least a month’s time to get used to the new infrastructure.

V.S. Bhaskar, secretary-general of the National Games Secretariat, made a presentation on the state of infrastructure. He said that barring the shooting range and the Games Village, over 95 per cent of work had been completed at each site.

Although Bhaskar’s presentation indicated that 99 per cent work in the hockey stadium had been completed, the contract for installation of an astroturf there has yet to be finalised.

Gogoi instructed all officials to ensure that the remaining work is completed well before schedule.

The Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority, which is the nodal agency for the construction of the Games Village, assured that the facility would be handed over to the organising committee by July 31.

The committee decided to invite President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam as the chief guest for the opening ceremony and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the closing ceremony. It also urged the state government to issue a notification at the earliest, specifying rewards in cash or kind for those who win medals Assam.

Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma suggested gifting a flat to every gold medallist from the state. Sports personalities who attended the meeting objected to the proposal on the ground that no rewards had been suggested for silver and bronze medallists.

Gogoi instructed the finance department to release Rs 34 crore to the various committees involved in preparations for the Games.

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