INDIA WILL HAVE 30 ASTROTURFS BY 2009New Delhi,29 Apr:The Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports has approved laying of 12 new Astroturfs at the cost of Rs. 42 crore with a view to create better facilities for hockey in the country. Locations for new Astroturfs include one at Singpura (Baramullah, J&K) and tribal pockets like Rajnandgaon (Chhattisgarh), Hazaribagh (Jharkhand) and Kokrajhar (Assam). At another eight places, the work for establishment of Astroturf is at different stages of the completion. Besides this, the work relating to replacement of old Astroturfs at NIS, Patiala and Kolkatta is underway. The proposal for setting up of another four Astroturfs are in the pipeline. By the end of 2009, India will have 30 Astroturfs spread across the country for the promotion of hockey.
Since taking over as Union Minister for Sports, Dr. M.S. Gill has taken a number of meetings with Sports Authority of India (SAI) officers, to look at the facilities being provided for the game, particularly Astroturfs. The Minister has directed to increase the number of Astroturfs and improve other infrastructure facilities required for promotion of hockey. On the direction of the Sports Minister, the hockey has already been declared a "priority" game and has been assured full support from the Ministry.
Commenting on the yesterday’s Indian Olympic Association’s (IOA) decision regarding Indian Hockey Federation, Dr. M.S. Gill said that "the decision regarding the Indian Hockey Federation, taken on the 28th evening, by the Executive Committee of the IOA, was necessary. It was a unanimous decision, and in my judgment appropriate, in the given situation. I have carefully noted the composition of the new Selection Committee. I would hope that they work in unison, and for the best interest of the hockey and youth of India. In my judgment, it will also be necessary, to have a compact, well chosen, and efficient new administration for the IHF. I am confident the IOA will address this".