TURA: A section of the citizens of Tura Town have raised concern over the failure of successive state governments to facilitate the completion of the Tura Alotgre Stadium, and urged that the same is completed before the upcoming National Games being held in the state.
The construction of the stadium was started at the initiative of the Tura Sports Association (TSA) a few decades back but work on it abruptly stopped in the initial stages never to be resumed for the past many years.
A representation on the matter was submitted to the then Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs, Banteidor Lyngdoh in April last year but any kind of action or intimation is yet to be forthcoming till date. The representation was signed by renowned citizens of Tura of whom included TSA Chief Adviser, Dr Milton S Sangma, TSA President, Skylance G Momin, TSA Joint Secretary, Sydney Herbert N Sangma and two other members.
“The construction of the stadium was started at the initiative of the TSA by setting up a construction board with technical experts as its members for preparation of master plan and supervision of construction works. The construction was continued with whatever fund received from the Sports Department till the end of 1987. However, after the constitution of the State Sports Council (SSC) in the same year, it took over the construction work and there has been no further progress since then. Ultimately, the work on the stadium was completely abandoned and has remained so for the last 20 years,” Adviser to the TSA, Rozario M Sangma said.
According to Sangma, prior to handing over the construction work to the SSC, the overall management of the stadium including construction activities was under the control of the TSA during which time, it was able to complete the main playing area where all sorts of sports tournaments including an athletic meet have also been held.
Recalling the statement of Zenith M Sangma, who had said in the house that Asibra and Ganol Songma are the two probable sites for construction of a new stadium in Tura, while he was the Sports Minister during the Congress led government in 2017, Sangma expressed resentment while at the same time questioning how a new site was selected without the knowledge of the TSA.
According to Sangma, the then sports minister (Zenith) had also informed at the time of the allocation of Rs 40 crores each from the Central pool of resources (Non Lapseable fund) for construction of two new stadiums at Ampati and Tura, which was substantiated by then Chief Minister Mukul Sangma.
“It is learnt that construction of work at Ampati is nearing completion whereas, another Rs 40 crores for Tura Stadium is lying unutilized even now. What is the reason for keeping the amount for so long in cold storage? The personal opinion of opposition leader Mukul Sangma will be of much help in this since it was during his time that the said amount of Rs 40 crores was made available for Tura Stadium,” Sangma said.
Speaking on the sad state of the sports scenario in the region, Sangma said that the decision of the then state government to accommodate surrenderees of the now disbanded ANVC for six years at Youth Hostel in Allotgre (now in a dilapidated condition) without consultation with stakeholders like TSA and local residents had caused a major setback in the promotion of games and sports in Tura.To revive the sports scenario, other demands were also made in the representation some of which included up-gradation of Dikki Bandi Stadium (now P A Sangma Stadium), renovation of Youth Hostel at Allotgre, construction of new Indoor Stadium and construction of Recreational Centre cum Tura Sports Association Office.