Srinagar, Aug 5: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha Friday dedicated the upgraded and revamped Bakshi Stadium at Srinagar to the J&K sportspersons.
An official spokesman in a statement issued here said that terming the occasion historic, the LG said that the stadium upgraded at Rs 59 crore was one more step towards realising the high-spirited dreams and aspirations of the youth to earn glory through their performances on the field.
He said that Bakshi Stadium had been a central place of youth for decades, nurturing many dreams and making local sportspersons famous all over the country.
“This stadium infused the passion of sports into the lives of millions of people and the legacy has been passed to the new generation,” Sinha said.
He said there were clear directions from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to develop M A Stadium in Jammu as per ICC standards and Bakshi Stadium in Srinagar as per FIFA standards.
Lauding the determination and dedication of J&K’s young sportspersons, the LG said that the J&K administration had assigned top priority to nurturing a flourishing sports culture among youth at the grass-root level to identify their talent and provide them opportunities to showcase their skills.
“Massive expansion of sports infrastructure is taking place in J&K. New sports facilities are being developed, world-class coaching is being provided to hone the skills of the sportspersons from various sports disciplines,” he said.
Sinha said that Ellahi Bagh Stadium in downtown was ready and would be dedicated to the people before August 15.
“Today, we have been able to create 22 indoor multi-purpose halls in 20 districts, besides 38 Khelo India centres have been established in various disciplines of sports. Further, work on 948 sports infrastructure projects are going on, which will be completed in the current financial year,” he said.
The LG appreciated the Sports Department, J&K Sports Council, and all stakeholders for relentlessly working to identify and nurture young talent.
“Opportunities are being provided to the youth who have the special skills, and abilities. Women teams of rugby, football, cricket, volleyball, kabaddi, and hockey have been formed in all the 20 districts to ensure that our daughters also get equal opportunity to showcase their talent in sports,” he said. “New Sports Policy was adopted by J&K that not only acknowledges the achievements of our sportspersons but also secures their future by giving them government jobs for their exceptional performances. After the implementation of sports policy earlier this year, the process is on to fill all the vacancies by eliminating the backlog from 2014 to 2021.”
Sinha also spoke about the achievements of sportspersons from J&K who made their mark in the national and international arena.
He expressed hope that people would wholeheartedly contribute towards nation building with full potential and sporting talent would bring laurels to the nation and J&K in the world of sports.
On the occasion, Advisor to Lt Governor Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar said that the J&K government paid special attention to developing sports infrastructure and providing the best training and exposure to the youngsters.
Chief Secretary Arun Kumar Mehta reiterated the government's commitment to extend all support to the sporting talent of J&K.
“Today, the sports sector in J&K is witnessing rapid development. World-class facilities and coaching is being extended to the youth at the grass root level to showcase their talent in various sports disciplines,” he said and asked the officials to double their efforts to make J&K a sporting hub of the country.
Secretary Tourism Sarmad Hafeez in his welcome address threw light on the measures taken for the upgradation and renovation of Bakshi Stadium and highlighted the achievements made in terms of sports infrastructure and facilities in the region, besides nurturing the sporting talent and providing them platforms at national and international level.
Secretary, J&K Sports Council Nuzhat Gul presented the vote of Thanks.
Earlier, the LG took the ceremonial salute at an impressive march past by the contingents.
He marked the start of sports activities in the newly-upgraded stadium by kicking a football.
Additional Chief Secretary, Home Department R K Goyal, Additional Chief Secretary, Finance Department Vivek Bhardwaj, DGP Dilbag Singh, ADGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir P K Pole, Administrative Secretaries, senior officials, prominent sports personalities, and young sportspersons in large numbers were also present on the occasion.