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Dharamsala a sports tourism hub only on paper

Dharamsala a sports tourism hub only on paper

The Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association stadium at Dharamsala. File photo



Tribune News Service

Lalit Mohan

Dharamsala, November 27

The successive governments have been talking to make Dharamsala a sports tourism destination since long. The idea was mooted after the construction of the international cricket stadium here.

The BJP government had announced a shooting academy and the Saina Nehwal badminton academy here. Both proposals are still on the paper.

The cricket stadium has not hosted any IPL match since 2013. Last year, just two matches between India and Sri Lanka were held in the stadium.

Minister for Forest, Youth Affairs and Sports Rakesh Pathania said the government had received Rs 5 crore from the Union Ministry for Sports for bringing up a shooting academy. A proposal was mooted to develop a shooting academy on the Dharamsala campus of Central University Himachal Pradesh (CUHP).

As per estimates, Rs 7 crore was required for developing the academy and Rs 5 crore had been received from the Union government while the remaining Rs 2 crore would be contributed by the state government, he said.

Sources said the district administration had transferred about 65 kanals to the Sports Department of the state to develop a badminton academy. Initially, the state government was in talks with the Saina Nehwal Badminton Academy. However, the proposal could not materialise. DC Nipun Jindal confirmed that the land had been transferred to the Sport Department at Sakoh village along Dharamsala.

Ashwani Bamba, president of the Dharamsala Hotel and Restaurant Association, talking to The Tribune, said the tourism was on a decline since the outbreak of Covid.

Dharamsala tourism was heavily dependent on international tourists.

However, even though the pandemic was over, the arrival of international tourists had not picked up.

The state government should give a fillip to sports tourism to attract domestic and international tourists. It was sad that despite the investment of crores in the cricket stadium, no IPL matches had been held here for the past many years.

The government should urge the HPCA to hold IPL and international matches in Dharamsala on a regular basis, he said.

The tourism industry has also demanded that other sports infrastructure such as badminton and shooting academy should be brought up at the earliest.

It has demanded that more tournaments should be hosted in the city to make it a sports hub.

No IPL matches for many years

The government should give a fillip to sports tourism to attract domestic and international tourists. It is sad that despite the investment of crores in the cricket stadium, no IPL matches have been held here for the past many years. The government should urge the HPCA to hold IPL and international matches in Dharamsala on a regular basis. — Ashwani Bamba, Dharamsala hotel and restaurant association chief

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#BJP #Cricket #Dharamsala #saina nehwal


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