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SAG centre to be ready by this year

Shillong, May 28: The much-delayed Special Area Games (SAG) Centre on the North Eastern Hill University (Nehu) campus here is expected to be completed within this year.

The centre, located on 30 acres, had missed the September-October 2012 and March-April 2013 deadlines. In 2003, Nehu and the Sports Authority of India (SAI) had signed a memorandum of understanding for developing the centre.

The Central Public Works Department (CPWD), Shillong division, was entrusted with the task of constructing the centre. Initially, Rs 42.6 crore was earmarked for the mega project.

According to the preliminary plan, the major components of the project included two 100-bed hostels for boys and girls, hockey turf, archery range, a multipurpose indoor hall with a seating capacity of 2,000 spectators where six indoor games can be played simultaneously, and a synthetic athletics turf.

Having missed at least two deadlines, SAI Regional Centre (Guwahati) head Meena Bora exuded confidence that the much-delayed project would see the light of day before the end of the current year. According to Bora, the hall and the boys’ hostel have been completed while the girls’ hostel is under construction. The work for laying the synthetic athletic track is also expected to begin soon, she added.

One of the major reasons for the delay is the alleged road blockades for the contractors in bringing in labourers to the state. Former Union minister Ajay Maken had visited the centre on a few occasions.

He had given necessary directions to complete the centre in time and expressed the hope that the centre would be the “game-changer” for Meghalaya where the best athletes would be nurtured.

Cricket: Kendriya Vidyalaya IIT shared a point each with Bright Future English High School and LOG Hindi High School shared points with Ganeshnagar High School in two scheduled matches of the Dhan Sena Sinha 10th All Assam Inter-School Prizemoney Cricket Tournament, organised by River Rine Cricket Coaching Centre at Latasil ground here, after the matches were abandoned by rain today, writes our staff reporter from Guwahati.