Bathinda shooting range finds few takers

Bathinda shooting range finds few takers

Five persons were killed in a road accident involving a car and a tractor-trailer near Kotshamir village on the Bathinda-Mansa road today. - File photo

Sameer Singh

Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 28

The shooting range here has found few takers owing to the high fees, absence of a coach to train shooters and officials’ apathy to run it in a full-fledged manner.

The facility is being used only to provide training to arms licence holders.

The gun-training-cum-shooting range situated on the premises of Mahant Gurbanta Das School for Deaf and Dumb was inaugurated by state Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal amid much fanfare in January this year.

As per records, registration count at the shooting range was negligible with only a handful of budding shooters visiting the range for practice purpose, while a sizeable number of amateur shooters come there to check their weapons.

Jagtar Singh, range safety officer, said: “People come here for checking their weapons, but only two persons have got themselves registered at the range for practice purpose. Besides, three more budding shooters came to practice the sport for a few days. Due to the lockdown imposed in wake of Covid-19 not many people turned up for registration this year.”

Talking to The Tribune, Arjuna awardee shooter Avneet Kaur Sidhu said, “There’s certainly no dearth of talent in the region, but lack of willingness on the part of officials to utilise the shooting range for training budding sportsmen as well as established shooters who play at the state and national level. There are certain upgradations required in the shooting range and a permanent coach is needed to train the shooters and that can only be achieved with proper coordination between the administration and the district Rifle Association.”

A former executive member of the association, requesting anonymity, said, “The shooting range was the dream project of a senior administrative officer posted in Bathinda who painstakingly made all-out effort to establish the state-of-the-art facility. After he was transferred from here, not much heed has been paid to run the range properly. The district administration needs to coordinate with the association members to utilise the shooting range optimally so that budding shooters can train here and earn glory for the state and country.”

He added, “The administration should lower the fee, as Rs 21,000 for annual registration is way too much for many, especially for those living in the rural belt of the region.”

Deputy Commissioner B Srinivasan said, “Soon after its inauguration in January, it had to be closed down temporarily in the wake of Covid. If sportspersons (shooters) have any concrete plans to utilise the facility to the maximum effect then they must share it with the administration and we will be more than willing to incorporate their inputs.”

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