Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Friday dedicated the Upgraded & Revamped Bakshi Stadium at Srinagar to the Sportspersons of J&K.
Terming the occasion as historic, the Lt Governor said that the stadium upgraded at a cost of Rs 59 cr is one more step towards realizing the high-spirited dreams & aspirations of the youth to earn glory through their performances on the field.
The Lt Governor observed that Bakshi Stadium has been a central place of youth for decades, nurturing many dreams and making local sportspersons famous all over the country. This Stadium infused the passion of sports into the lives of millions of people and the legacy has been passed to the new generation, he added.
There were clear directions from the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to develop MA Stadium in Jammu as per ICC Standards and Bakshi Stadium in Srinagar as per FIFA Standards, he further added.
Lauding the determination and dedication of J&K’s young sportspersons, the Lt Governor said that the UT Administration has assigned top priority to nurture a flourishing sports culture among youth at grass-root level in order to identify their talent and provide them opportunities to showcase their skills.
Massive expansion of sports infrastructure is taking place in J&K. New sports facilities are being developed, world class coaching is being provided to hone the skills of the sportspersons from various sports disciplines, the Lt Governor observed.
Ellahi Bagh Stadium Downtown is ready and will be dedicated to the people before 15 August, announced the Lt Governor.
Today, we have been able to create 22 Indoor Multi-Purpose Halls in 20 districts, besides 38 Khelo India Centers have been established in various disciplines of sports. Further, work on 948 Sports infrastructure projects are going on, which will be completed in the current financial year, the Lt Governor informed.
The Lt Governor appreciated the Sports department, J&K Sports Council, and all stakeholders for relentlessly working to identify and nurture young talent.
Opportunities are being provided to the youth who have the special skills, abilities. Women teams of rugby, football, cricket, volleyball, kabaddi and hockey have been formed in all the 20 districts to ensure that our daughters also get equal opportunity to showcase their talent in sports, the Lt Governor further said.
New Sports Policy was adopted by the UT that not only acknowledges the achievements of our sportspersons but also secures their future by giving them government jobs for their exceptional performances. After the implementation of sports policy earlier this year, process is on to fill all the vacancies by eliminating the backlog from 2014 to 2021, he further added.
The Lt Governor also spoke about the achievements of sportspersons from the UT who made their mark at the national and international arena.
The Lt Governor expressed hope that people will wholeheartedly contribute towards nation building with full potential and our sporting talent will bring laurels to the nation and the UT in the world of sports.
Sh Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, Advisor to Lt Governor, while speaking on the occasion said that the UT Government has paid special attention on developing sports infrastructure and providing the best training and exposure to the youngsters, he added.
Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary, reiterated the government’s commitment to extend all support to the sporting talent of J&K.
Today, sports sector in the UT is witnessing rapid development. World class facilities and coaching is being extended to the youth at grass root level to showcase their talent in various sports disciplines, he added. He asked the officials to double their efforts to make J&K sporting hub of the country.
Sh Sarmad Hafeez, Secretary Tourism, in his welcome address threw light on the measures taken for the upgradation and renovation of Bakshi Stadium, and further highlighted the achievements made in terms of sports infrastructure and facilities in the region, besides nurturing the sporting talent and providing them platforms at national and international level.
Ms Nuzhat Gul, Secretary, J&K Sports Council presented the vote of Thanks.
Earlier, the Lt Governor took the ceremonial salute at an impressive March past by the contingents.
The Lt Governor marked the start of sports activities in the newly upgraded stadium by kicking the football.
Sh R K Goyal, Additional Chief Secretary, Home Department; Sh Vivek Bhardwaj, Additional Chief Secretary, Finance Department; Sh. Dilbag Singh, DGP; Sh Vijay Kumar, ADGP Kashmir; Sh P K Pole, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir; Administrative Secretaries; senior officials; prominent sports personalities; and young sportspersons in large numbers were present on the occasion.