Ranchi: For the first time ever Jharkhand has sent a six-member team to take part in a national rowing meet in Pune, but none of the rowers has personal oars, a pre-requisite at such a high-stake competitions.
The reason for this embarrassing spectacle is that 16 boats and sundry other equipment, bought by the state during the 2011 national games held in Ranchi, Dhanbad and other towns, have either been destroyed by a fire or are with Odisha for the last five years.
Jharkhand Rowing Association secretary K.K. Singh, who took charge in August, claims his predecessors had passed on some boats and oars to Odisha on request and subsequently the state sports department forgot to get them back.
"Soon after the national games, SAI eastern region requisitioned boats from Jharkhand for conducting state and national meets in Odisha. Some of our earlier office-bearers gave them four sets of boats. Thereafter, everyone forgot," he said, adding that the remaining sets of rowing, canoeing and kayaking gear got charred in a fire few years back at the place where these were stored near Maithon dam.