Tribune News Service
Jammu, December 1
The J&K Administration has decided to hold the Republic Day function at Maulana Azad Stadium, despite spending Rs 43 crore on its renovation and upgrade to host international matches.
The J&K Sports Council took almost two years to lay the new turf and outfield in the stadium and bring it at par with the international standards. However, with the stunts performed during the Republic Day function can damage the turf.
Moreover, the contingents of security forces and students, who are part of the parade, will focus on their performance, which too can damage the ground.
The administration is adamant on holding the event in the stadium despite the court directions that sports grounds shouldn’t be used for any other purpose.
“We have conveyed our concerns to the divisional administration. The renovation of the stadium will go in vain if the Republic Day function is held here again. We tried our best to present our point but the administration is not listening to us,” said an official of the J&K Sports Council.
Last year, the state administration had shifted the Republic Day venue to the Jammu University ground as the renovation of the MA stadium was in progress. But this year, even when the renovation hasn’t completed, the administration has decided to hold the function at the stadium.
The decision has drawn ire of sports lovers and players too, who are planning to hold a protest.
“We are planning to stage a sit-in outside the stadium and make the administration aware of our concerns. If the Republic Day function is held here, the plans of bringing the international cricket or Indian Premier League to Jammu will face a big jolt,” said Aditya Kumar, a budding cricketer.
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