Abid Hussain

Players aghast as Budgam's lone sports stadium becomes “main venue” for govt functions

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Budgam, Oct 27: The Budgam's lone sports stadium located at Paller village has been turned into a place where almost all major government functions and events are being held and thereby causing inconvenience to sports lovers here.

"Every government programme is being conducted at stadium including 26th January and 15th August parades, army and CRPF functions, political events, exhibitions, recruitment drives, and so forth," said cricket and football players of the district.

Nayeem, a cricketer said, "Whenever we plan to play any cricket or football match at the stadium, we find it occupied with government functions."

Notably, according to players, every time government functions conclude, they leave stadium in ruins.

They said that recent recruitment drive of Fire and Emergency Department severely damaged the playground including its pitch.

"After the drive ended, littered garbage, heaps of dust, stones and pits dug for erecting poles were all over the stadium," said Irshad Mohammad, a cricket and football buff.

The players also raised questions over government’s “much hyped” sports programme—Khelo India.

"On one side, government is said to be promoting sports under several programmes but on the other same government is interrupting our sports activities."

They questioned, "If ground is for sports activities, why the district administration is holding and allowing functions here?"

They added that currently, Mega Legal Services Camp is being held at Budgam stadium due to which ground has suffered damage.

Pertinently, when preparation for the Camp was going on, a brawl erupted between players and government officials after former were not allowed to play.

The players demanded that either no function should be held here or government should provide them a separate sports stadium.

Meanwhile, Manager Sports Stadium Budgam, Altaf Ahmad did not respond to the repeated calls of this reporter.

Earlier, Kashmir Images reached his office but the official present there said that Manager has gone to Deputy Commissioner’s office for some work.

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