'Despite state's repeated requests, sports complex not put to effective use by SAI'

Kolkata: The state Sports minister Aroop Biswas wrote to the Union Sports minister Anurag Thakur expressing his concern over the Sports Authority of India's (SAI) reluctance in effectively using the "Biswa Bangla Krirangan" for training and coaching on different sports even after five years it was handed over to the authority.

It was the Mamata Banerjee government that had developed the modern sports complex spread over 27 acres of land in Jalpaiguri housing facilities for archery, athletics, badminton, basketball, football, gymnastics, squash, swimming, table tennis and volleyball.

The state government handed over the Biswa Bangla Krirangan to SAI on December 8, 2016. The complex was developed at an investment of Rs 50 crores.

Biswas informed the Union Sports minister that the "idea behind such handover was to develop the facility into a centre of excellence, one that would provide the best of training and coaching facilities to the budding youth and help them excel in the international sporting arena".

"But it is most unfortunate, that in spite of repeated requests from the state government, the complex is yet to be put to effective use by the SAI. I have already written twice to your predecessors, once in June 2018 to Col. RS Rathore and again in July 2020 to Kiren Rijiju, requesting their intervention on the matter, but no fruitful action appears to have been taken till date. The facility, which you would no doubt agree, has immense potential for the future, now wears a barren and deserted look, and even cattle can be seen frequently grazing on its field," Biswas maintained in his letter to the Union minister.

He also stated that SAI has failed to achieve this objective to effectively utilize the excellent infrastructure that the krirangan has offered.

This comes when it is the vision of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to identify talent from remote and fur-flung corners and provide them with the best of facilities "so that they can bring laurels to the nation and make the country proud".

He also requested Thakur to look into the matter as it has already been delayed.

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