Manipur Sports Minister demands more funds for sports infrastructure

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New Delhi, Jul 9 (UNI) Manipur Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Nongthombam Biren drew the attention of the Union Minister M S Gill for providing adequate funds for the development of sports infrastructure in the state.

Attending the one-day Conference of State Ministers of Youth Affairs and Sports under the chairmanship Union Minister M S Gill here today, the state Minister highlighted the considerable achievements of sports in Manipur.

He said ''the State produced many national and international players including seven Olympians and seven Arjuna Awardees. The State organised the 5th National Games in Imphal in 1999 successfully and got the 'Raja Bhalendra Singh Trophy' for overall champion.'' ''In the subsequent National Games, Manipur maintained its quality of performance securing the 3rd place in 2001 Games in Punjab, 4th place in 2002 Games in Hyderabad and 2007 Games in Assam,'' he added.

Supporting the Union Ministry's effort for revival of the Scheme of Grants for Creation of Sports Infrastructure, the State Minister expressed that a huge fund would be required for the establishment of sports infrastructure, be it world-class infrastructure at central locations, or basic infrastructure in rural areas.

The Special Category States like Manipur would have more difficult to create sports infrastructure from their own resources.

Referring to the basic sports facilities in the rural areas in the state, Mr Biren said ''the State would like to construct a basic sports centre consisting of one playground and one indoor hall in each Block Headquarters.'' Since 90 per cent of the geographical area of Manipur was hilly, the average cost of the Block Sports Centre would be around Rs 40 lakh. The total cost for all 27 Blocks in the state excluding those Blocks at district headquarters would be Rs 1080 lakh. This could be taken up in phase manner over a period of 3 to 5 years.

Mr Biren also said subject of Sports was included in the State's list in the relevant schedule of the Constitution and suggested the Central Government to include the Sports in the Concurrent List so that the Central Government could be involved more effectively in the promotion of the sports in the country.

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