Himansu Shekhar Rout

Sportspersons launched a novel protest over the ‘alleged neglect’ of the Rajib Gandhi Stadium at Vyasanagar in Jajpur district. Over a dozen of them started a marathon towards Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik's residence Naveen Niwas in Bhubaneswar after the two-month-long protest by locals demanding renovation of the stadium cut no ice with the district administration. 

As per reports, local people held a sit-in for two months demanding renovation of the stadium. However, the district administration allegedly did not pay heed to their demand. Their demand was for levelling of the ground and building galleries. 

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They lamented the deplorable condition of the stadium which was built in 1984. Though 38 years have passed since the establishment of the stadium, neither the administration nor the local leaders have taken any step for the development and upgradation of the stadium, they rued.

They argued that in the absence of proper ground and facilities, it is a hurdle for local sportspersons to hone their skills.        
Lamenting the administrative apathy towards the Vyasanagar stadium development, senior sportsperson Brajabandhu Samal, who is leading the run towards Naveen Niwas said, “It is our protest in the form of a marathon to draw the attention of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik towards the development of Vyasanagar and the stadium. We will not stoop to anyone. Now, we are running towards Bhubaneswar to lodge our protest over our demand.”

Samal also said that they have faith in Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik who will listen to their demands. “If the Chief Minister fails to do anything in this regard, we will look for other ways to draw his attention,” he warned.

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