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SHILLONG/GUWAHATI: The state government has, so far, mobilised close to Rs 450 crore from different ministries including Social Justice, Tribal Affairs ministry, NEC, etc., for creating infrastructure for the upcoming National Games.
Talking to media persons after chairing the meeting of the National Games Organising Committee (NGOC), Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said that the Meghalaya Government is moving different ministries to give funds for developing the infrastructure.
The chief minister further informed that location and venues were finalised in the meeting in terms of actual infrastructure that needs to be developed.
He said that discussions with various departments on issues of power, water supply, road connectivity, urban issues, were also held in the meeting.
Stating that different organisations and sports associations have sought more support from the state government so that they can focus on training programme, he asserted that the government would provide necessary support to them.
Reiterating that the state government is committed and ready to host National Games 2022, he expressed confidence that the state is moving forward in the right track.
Members from different departments discussed various issues that has posed as hinderance to the developing infrastructure of the state.
The state government, in the meeting, has also given a timeline to finish the work associated with different departments on time.
Meanwhile, the state government is undeterred by the poor performance of the state team in the recently concluded Khelo India Games in Guwahati. Conrad, on Friday, expressed hope that with many talents, commitment and sheer determination, the state will come up as one of the top in the country.
”If we look at the comparative performance of Meghalaya and the other North East states, our state has not performed too well. But, this is a good chance to look at the preparedness issues and a lot of work has to be done,” the chief minister said.
Meghalaya stood third from the bottom, with Nagaland in second and Ladakh in first, without winning any medal in the list of medal tally of 37 of the Khelo India Games.
The chief minister expressed hope that with collective effort of the players, various associations and the government, things will improve and the state will perform better in years to come. It may be mentioned that the state is playing host to National Games 2022 and preparations are underway.
”I am hopeful that in the National Games 2022, the state will come up as one of the top state in the country,” he added.
Support for preparation
Conrad assured all support to the MSOA towards preparation of the Meghalaya team for the National Games 2022 in the right earnest for which the necessary funds would be released at the earliest.
MSOA working president, John F Kharshiing told The Shillong Times that an instance was also cited in the 39th NGOC meeting, in Shillong on Friday, in regard to increased investments in the state associations by Mizoram proving fruitful as it ranked 20 while Meghalaya ranked 34 out of the 37 states that participated in the recently concluded Khelo India Youth Games in Guwahati.
“The MSOA also requested a more closer working relationship between the three co signatories of the Host City Contract, namely the Meghalaya government, Indian Olympic Association and MSOA, so as to have effective coordination in preparation for the National Games,” Kharshiing said.
The MSOA further underlined the need to review the SAI (NEHU) campus as it is under utilised apart from exploring the possibility of approaching the Ministry of Sports for including the SAI centre as one of the 20 centres of excellence. Union sports minister Kiren Rijiju had recently announced the plan to upgrade 20 SAI centres.
Besides other issues of infrastructure and venues for both Shillong an Tura, the MSOA also informed the chief minister and chairman National Games Organising Committee that the IOA had also enquired about the Shillong Airport as there would be a total of about 10,000 athletes and officials, who would otherwise have to travel from Guwahati.