IOA confident Meghalaya can host National Games 2022

Correspondent SHILLONG, JAN 30 | Publish Date: 1/30/2020 10:57:32 AM IST

A  co-ordination and games technical conduct committee of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Thursday  exuded confidence that Meghalaya can host the National Games, 2022. The three-member committee committee led by chairman Raj Kumar Sacheti, visited the sites proposed for building of a stadium, games village, and other facilities at Umsawli in the outskirts of Shillong. “The initial discussion we had yesterday and we saw the sites today and after a meeting with Sports minister, we are confident that Meghalaya can host the games in October-November 2022,”  Sacheti said.

 He said the purpose of the visit was to find the status/update on the national games which the IAO has allotted to Meghalaya to host. “In terms of sites for sports village and stadium they (Meghalaya) proposed are suitable. They have two consultants for the venue design, and the other which is preparing the reports and other things. With these parameters, we are confident that they are fully prepared and the games can happen in October-November 2022,” he explained.

Sacheti who was special adviser for the 12th South Asian Games, which Shillong co-hosted along with Guwahati in 2016, informed that the government has already handed over the green field, and lands have been handed over.       

However, he said the State government is now waiting from the ministry of social justice as they are preparing for the cabinet approval for the bidding documents and once the government get the approval, they will invite the tender.

Asked what kind of magic can be done so that Meghalaya can complete the massive sports infrastructure within two years,  Sacheti said, “... If you have the will power, if you decide to do it, how much time will it take? We have two and half years, and with these timelines, they have prepared all the tender documents and everything. If the bidding documents are out then major construction work will start in June and yes we can achieve the target.” Sacheti also said that two and half years is a good time to construct the venue if they can start by the June timeline.

Asked if it is true that the 39th national games in Meghalaya will be held in 2023, Sacheti said, “We had a discussion with the government and when the IOA had allotted the games to Meghalaya, they wanted it to be held in 2022 as it coincides with the 50th year of statehood celebration. For that reason, we have a firm decision with the government which is keen to host the games in 2022. So we will submit the report to IOA and I am 100 per cent sure we will have the slot for 2022. In due course we will submit the report.”

     Meghalaya will be the third Northeastern state, after Manipur (1999) and Assam (2007), to host the National Games.

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