Abid Hussain

Sports Stadium Budgam suffers damage as JCB, tractor driven across its wet surface

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Budgam, Jan 24: Leaving no traces of cricket pitch behind, the government has turned Sports Stadium Budgam literally into a swampy field in the wake of January 26 parade, being held here alongside with other functions.

According to the locals, the stadium has suffered an extensive damage after JCB machine and tractor were driven across its wet surface to clear less than two-inches of snow.

Showing strong resentment against concerned district administration for depriving them of facility, the cricket and football players said that it is far from their understanding, why stadium was turned into a mess?

“Despite knowing the condition of ground, government used heavy machinery for snow clearance which left it in pathetic state,” Sajid Hussain, a football lover said. “If district administration was so desperate of holding January 26 parade here, they should have removed the snow manually.”

He added that every part of the stadium has been damaged including “pitch, infield and outfield”.

“The cricket pitch which takes more than two months to prepare, was vanished within minutes,” Irshad Mohammad, a cricket lover said.

Further, the players said that more than 50 pits were also dug for erecting poles and gravel was scattered over the ground.

Pertinently, in October last year Kashmir Images had carried a report with headline “Players aghast as Budgam’s lone sports stadium becomes ‘main venue’ for govt functions” wherein it was reported that all major government functions are held here which is taking away its sheen and causing inconvenience to players.

Continuing their demand, the players asserted that either no function should be held at stadium or government should provide them a separate sports ground.

While strongly castigating the concerned authorities for damaging the stadium, President Municipal Committee Budgam and state Congress leader Hakeem Rohullah Gazi said, “The turf of stadium has been nearly ‘destroyed’ by ‘negligently’ using heavy machinery for snow clearance rather than manual labour.”

“A lot of money had gone in ensuring the quality of the turf for facilitating youth of the area in sport activities, but given the ignorant and totally non technical attitude of concerned authorities, stadium is rendered useless,” Gazi said, adding that he has taken up the issue with concerned department and demanded immediate renovation of the stadium as well as the turf.

Meanwhile, despite repeated attempts, Manager Sports Stadium Budgam, Altaf Ahmad could not be contacted.

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