Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

In a bid to develop sports infrastructure in Koraput district, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had provided a special grant last year. The aim was to set up an outdoor sports complex at Pujariput area in the district to make arrangements for all kinds sports activities at one place. However, after some initial activities, the work of the ambitious project has been allegedly halted. Sports enthusiasts in the district have expressed their resentment over the ‘tardy progress’ of the project.

As per reports, Odisha CM had announced a special grant to set up modern infrastructure for the talented sportspersons in Koraput in 2023. An estimate was made to construct a special outdoor sports complex in the district with an expenditure of Rs 3,54, 93,000. Target was set to construct a football ground, running track of eight lanes and a gallery with an audience capacity of 300 people on eight acres of land. 

Though the initial construction work commenced and land was dug to set up the infrastructure, the project was halted thereafter. Months have passed since the initial work commenced. However, there has been no headway since then, alleged locals. 

Sportspersons in the area are reportedly facing lots of problems in their training activities because of the half construction work undertaken on the ground. “There are many talented sportspersons in Koraput district. They excel in almost all the sports events without having any scopes and facilities in the district. If they are given proper scopes, they will definitely bring laurels for the State and the country,” said Rajesh Kumar, an athlete from Koraput district.

Responding to the resentments expressed by the sportspersons, Koraput Municipality Chairman Lalat Ranjan Sethi said, “The ground work of the sports complex has already been started. The technical work will commence soon.”

Meanwhile, the Estimate Officer of the sports complex Dwiti Krushna Patra said that the existing electric pole on the ground will be shifted soon to facilitate further construction work.

“Discussion has already been made with Tata Power to shift the existing electric pole on the ground. Estimate in this regard has been done and the work will be executed soon,” said Patra.

Meanwhile, as per the local residents, though the State government has provided the grant for the construction of the sports complex, the project work is not making much headway due to lack of coordination between the Koraput Municipality and the Tata Power.