CHANDIGARH, DEC 29 :Himachal Pradesh is poised for sports revolution in the next four years. All districts of the state would have a state-of-art stadium and Himahcal Pradesh Olympic Association would spent Rs 40 crore for development of sports infrasxtructure all over the state.
Himachal Pradesh Olympic Association general secretary Anurag Thakur disclosed various projects to promote sports activities in the state in a big way. Anurag was here for the first time after receiving a recognition letter from Indian Olympic Association president Suresh Kalmadi.
Talking to the mediapersons, Member of Parliament Anurag said that in the next four years Rs 40 crore would be spent on development of sports in the state. The HPOA will also involve corporate houses in the ambitious sports projects.
He promised to provide world class sports infrastructure, training facilities, regular exposure, cash incentives and jobs to the outstanding state sportspersons. "The State Government has already implemented reservation of 3 per cent quota of jobs for the outstanding sportspersons in various government departments/boards/corporations," said Anurag Thakur.
The HPOA, headed by Himachal Pradesh Forest Minister JP Lada, would construct 12 most modern stadia in the next four years. Anurag said "each stadia would cost Rs one crore and these will be constructed in a phased manner."
"Sports Infrastructure would be developed throughout the state. Synthetic tracks and astroturf hockey fields would be laid to provide the state sportsperpsons better and modern training facilities. The areas would be identitied and the sports infrastructure would be developed on the basis of talent available in that area," said Anurag Thakur, son of Himahcal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal.
"We will request the Government to appoint more qualified coaches/trainers to impart scientific training to the sportspersons so that they could compete in the world events," said Anurag. "A 10-metre indoor shooting range will be developed in the Indira Gandhi Stadium in Shimla," said Anurag.
"As the state has demonstrated tremendous progress in promoting cricket and constructing a world class stadium at Dharamshala and infrastructure in other districts of Himachal, we (HPOA) will pay the same kind of attention to promote other sports disciplines. The budget for cricket has been hiked from Rs 20 lakh to Rs 14 crore annually."
"The Himachal cricket team which has qualified for Elite Group in Ranjit Trophy would be suitably honoured." said Anurag Thakur.
Anurag also disclosed that the HPOA would be planning to host Winter Games and promote indoor games. The HPOA executive committee will meet in Shimla today to discuss and finalise the dates of the proposed State Olympic Games before the 34th National Games in Jharkhand in February 2009. The HPOA will send its team for the National Games.
Replying to a question whether the HPOA would bid for the National Games, Anurag Thakur said "Certainly, we will do. We will develop sports infrastructure in the state in a phased manner before making a bid to host the National Games."
Speaking on the recognition his team got from the apex sports body of the country, Anurg said "the IOA has taken this decision after listening both groups. Elections of the HPOA was held in August 2008 in Bilaspur. The majority of the affiliated sports associations, including three District Olympic Associations, are with us," said HPOA general secretary Anurag.
Congratulating Anurag Thakur on his election as general secretary of the HPOA, IOA president Suresh Kalmadi in his letter, dated December 24, 2008, said "I have received the report from the observer and hope that you would work for development of sports in the country, particularly in Himachal Pradesh and extend your cooperation to the IOA to achieve its objective."
Anurag thanked Suresh Kalmadi and IOA general secretray Randhir Singh for the recognition of his team. Present on the occasion were Rajesh Bhandari (secretary general, Himachal Pradesh Boxing Association), Devi Dutt Tanwar (HP Kho-Kho Association joint secretary), LR Verma (HPKKA secretary), Ishwar Rohal (HP Shooting Association secretary general),, Ramesh Chauhan (HP Judo Association, secretary) and Vinod (HP Taekwondo Association, president).