The Telegraph
Saturday , April 5 , 2014
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Land hurdle for SAI

Guwahati, April 4: The much awaited centre of excellence under the Sports Authority of India (SAI) has faced a hurdle for land here to create infrastructure under a central government scheme.

Though the state government has offered a 100-bigha plot of land at Amingaon, the headquarters of Kamrup district on the outskirts of the city, certain riders have been set which the SAI has found “a little difficult to abide by”.

The plot, offered by chief minister Tarun Gogoi himself, includes the state-of-the-art Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium which was built for the 33rd National Games held here in 2007 and has since been lying unutilised for sporting activities.

“We have a scheme under the Union sports ministry to set up a centre of excellence here if the state government provides us the infrastructure. I was offered a plot of land and was asked to inspect it, which I did. On a site visit, I found that the plot is not very convenient for the infrastructure we will have to create for the centre of excellence,” SAI Guwahati regional centre director Meena Bora told The Telegraph.

“Though I am yet to give my response to the state government, the main problem will be to build the hostel to accommodate 300 to 500 trainees. Besides, the district administration has set a condition that the ground would have to be made available for parades on the occasions of Independence Day and Republic Day, which is not permissible in case of synthetic tracks we will lay there,” she explained.

The centre for excellence will include several disciplines for which infrastructure could be created.

Officials in Dispur said Gogoi had offered the particular plot of land, which has immense potential for all-round development of infrastructure, after he turned down SAI’s repeated pleas for setting up the centre of excellence at the Sarusajai Sports Complex following stiff opposition from the sporting fraternity in the state.

SAI currently has its campus here at the cramped Newfield in the heart of the city where it is hardly left with any space for infrastructure development.