Tripura undertakes Rs 50 crore modernisation drive to upgrade sports infrastructure in state

Tripura sports minister Sushanta Chowdhury Thursday said his government has undertaken a massive modernisation drive of over Rs 50 crore, which includes funds from the Centre and the state government, to upgrade the sports infrastructure in the state and help budding sportspersons make it to the big arenas.

Speaking to reporters at the state secretariat, Chowdhury said Tripura lagged behind in terms of sports infrastructure in the erstwhile regimes and said the present government has taken it upon itself to revive the sector.

“We are focusing on infrastructure development under the Khelo India scheme of the Centre and special assistance funds of the state government. We hope to help players from all nooks and corners of the state,” Chowdhury said.

The fund will be utilised to develop 10 synthetic football turfs across eight districts of the state, a synthetic athletic turf, one swimming pool and 50 open air gymnasiums at different public playgrounds and spaces accessible to the common people.

“We want to develop sports infrastructure to ensure more good players come up. Also, sports will ensure youths don’t take the path of drugs and addiction,” the minister said.

Under the Khelo India scheme, Tripura was provided Rs 20 crore and the state government, as a special assistance fund, has put in Rs 25 crore. The rest, Rs 5 crore (to be utilised for the open gyms etc), was also provided by the state government.

The department has also separately moved a proposal for infrastructure development and inclusion of sports activities at the state-run Dasharath Dev Sports Stadium at a cost of Rs 70 crore. The project is likely to include a synthetic hockey turf and other amenities.

In addition to all these, the government is working to build one multi-purpose indoor hall at all the eight districts with Rs 4.5 crore fund allocated for each unit. “Sports Authority of India has already inspected the sites and we shall be able to bring out players from far flung villages with these units,” Chowdhury said.

The upcoming synthetic football turfs are being made at Udaipur in Gomati district, Khowai district, Jampuijala, Jirania, Mohanpur and Agartala in West Tripura district and Belonia in South Tripura district. Among these, three synthetic turfs would be built in the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) areas.

The government has also decided to provide Rs 10,000 to every gram panchayat and ADC village committee to promote sports in the state and revive lost sports of the villages. As many as 1,500 registered clubs would also receive 20,000 equipment to promote sports and build a movement against drugs.

Chowdhury said nobody took the sports department seriously in terms of budget allocation but now, sports budget has grown from Rs 7.5 crore to Rs 12 crore and a massive modernisation drive has been undertaken based on funds sourced from outside the budgetary allocation.

In an effort to provide quality training along with state-of-the-art infrastructure, the government has also decided to induct 100 new junior physical instructors to coach budding talents.

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