Friday, July 19, 2024

Drainage work delay cause of football turf water-logging


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By Our Reporter

SHILLONG, June 24: The problem of water-logging of the new artificial football turf of the Shillong Sports Stadium at First Ground, Polo was due to the delay in the construction of the outlet drainage, sources said.
The drainage at the ground has been an issue ever since the new artificial turf was laid last year. The state government, through the State Sports Council Meghalaya (SSCM), stepped in to provide the new artificial surface after the attempt to lay natural grass in 2017 experienced even worse water-logging.
However, the plan to channel water through a new drain on the road running parallel to the stadium has hit a stumbling block and now other options are being explored.
The delay was a result of the differences between the state government and the Shillong Recreation Ground Trust (SGRT), which looks after the First Ground.
Sources told The Shillong Times on Monday that the water from the football pitch should flow to the peripheral drains of the stadium before flowing out of the stadium to the Wahumkhrah.
According to the sources, the contractor has not yet been able to construct the drain due to the differences between the SGRT and the state government.
“It was due to this reason that the outlet drainage could not be constructed. But the differences have been resolved now,” one of the sources said.
He said the positive development followed a change in the composition of the SGRT, which will have three government representatives.
The Sports and Youth Affairs Department is expected to submit the design of the outlet drains to the contractors and the work is expected to start soon.
Worth Rs 14 crore, the project includes the new sitting gallery, flood lights, artificial turf, and renovation of the dressing rooms and the seats of the old covered gallery. The outlet drain is an additional work and is not included in the main project.
It is learnt that the state government planned to have a unified drainage plan connecting the JN Stadium and SSA Stadium. “It decided to have a separate drainage system for SSA Stadium because of the delay in the JN Stadium project,” he said.
A local firm headed by Larsing M Sawyan is handling the project. Sawyan is a former president of the Meghalaya Football Association and is a noted entrepreneur.
Sources said the contractor handed over the new artificial turf to the SSA in the early part of 2023. They also said the contractor is expected to complete the construction of the new gallery of the SSA stadium by July.
When contacted, SSA president Banteidor Lyngdoh said he is by and large happy with the way the whole project is being implemented.
“Yes, there is a problem with water-logging on the football pitch. We have placed our concern before the contractor about this. We have been informed that the design for the outlet drains is almost complete. I hope that this problem will be resolved once the outlet drain is constructed,” he said.
He also said that an estimate will be prepared in due course for a new gallery on the southwest side of the ground next to the river and an SSA delegation will take it to Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma for sanction.
Last week, the senior members of the SSA conducted a joint inspection of the SSA Stadium along with the chief engineer of the SSCM and the contractor specifically to look at the problem of water-logging on the new pitch.


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