Tuesday, July 5, 2022

State stadium in Dimapur languishing

Correspondent/Staff Reporter

Dimapur has several advantages in terms of road, rail and air con-nectivity which are crucial for it to become a sports capital for youths and hosting of many nation-al sports events if the state’s biggest ‘Multi-Disciplinary Sports Complex’(MDSC) project also known as State Stadium, located near Dimapur Government College, was completed. The project began in 2006 and implemented under the Youth Resources and Sports (YR&S) department but has remained incomplete for the past 16 years. Technically, time is running out for MDSC as it will have hardly a decade of longevity.
Today the MDSC looks like a desolate ancient Roman amphitheatre and used for unsporting activities.
The 64.25 acre complex includes the main seating arena for 30,000 spectators while a portion of around 15 acres has been allotted to Sports Authority of India Imphal. The estimated cost of the MDSC was Rs.60.57 crore and so far the amount released for the project is Rs.94.25 crore.
Even be-fore major portions of the original works were completed, the project was upgraded to include some major structure and cost shooting up to Rs. 134. 99 crore.
It appears that completion would remain elusive as the project will include works and installation items to make the main athletic stadium essentially operational for functional completion of the project. As a result of these additions, the cost of the project has increased to Rs.1 77.00 crore.
When contacted by Nagaland Post, the Executive Engineer of YR&S department Swedi Kiso informed that Rs. 134. 99 crore estimated in 2011 was part of the upgraded DPR.
The story of incomplete projects in Nagaland is nothing new and has several aspects to it. One is that additional works are included midway which only add to the estimate resulting and cost over-runs.
The other is that the state government has not been able to provide its share of funding and as a result, projects get stalled.
The E.E. YR&S department also said that from 2013 till 2019 the state has not released funds. From 2019-2020 an amount of Rs.14.4 crore was released but grossly insufficient to cover liabilities of past seven years.
While projects in other north eastern states get completed, Nagaland has continued on the path of delays and cost escalations. This being a feature, it was reported that even the DoNER ministry, sports ministry and finance ministry have been reluctant to pump money into the project.
The MDSC has proposed works under ‘Schedule Items’ such as roofing, scaffolding, flooring, main approach, main entrance to the stadium internal periphery road etc. The ‘non-Schedule items’ include interior and exterior illumination, play field development, running track, floodlight etc.
It may be recalled that in January this year, chief minister Neiphiu Rio disclosed that he and his col-leagues in the government have decided to complete the decades-old unfinished “white elephant” –MDSC – whose construction was stalled after funds stopped because the erstwhile Planning Commission was folded up.
He said his government will take up the MDSC as “we have hope in the youths.”
It may also be pointed out that the sports persons only require quality playing grounds and seats for spectators to compete in sporting events. Renowned former Indian football captain Baichung Bhutia, during an event in Nagaland, had said it did not require several hundred crores rupees for expensive facilities to promote sports. Bhutia said sports-persons only needed good quality playing fields/grounds to compete and promote sports.

Upgradation of Khouchiezie Kohima underway

Dismantling and upgradation work in progress at Khouchiezie ground. (NP)

Khouchiezie (local) ground in Kohima will soon be upgraded with modern amenities and a multi-level underground car parking. The work is being taken up under the ambitious Kohima Smart City project.
Stalls and shops near the playground and within its parameters were removed by the owners on Wednesday as per the directive from deputy commissioner Kohima.
Street vendors were also made to vacate the area, while the footpath had been closed for safety of the commuters during the time of construction.
Official sources said contract for the project estimated to cost Rs 62.35 crore had been awarded to two local firms, adding that the work was expected to be completed within a year.
Further, sources informed that the seating capacity would also be increased to around 7000-8000.


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