The Chief Minister today met Union Sports and Panchayati Raj Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar at New Delhi and submitted a detailed memorandum in this regard.
The Chief Minister pleaded that with effect from April 1, 2005 the Central Government had transferred four schemes connected with sports infrastructure to the State Government without any additional provision of funds. He said that these schemes should be reverted back to Government of India at the earliest.
Making an impassioned appeal to revive sports culture to constructively utilize the energies of the youth and to wean them away from drug addiction, Mr Badal said that it was imperative for the Union Sports Ministry to fund construction of sports stadium in each village to encourage rural youth in various traditional sports.
He said the Punjab Government was proposing to upgrade state school of sports to Punjab Institute of Sports as centre of excellence and added the Stateg Government had already submitted a detailed note seeking Rs 32.5 crore grant in 11th five year plan.
Emphasizing the need for strengthening the sports infrastructure in the state, the Chief Minister said that the Union Government should provide Rs 48 crore to set up three regional trading centers one each Majha, Doaba and Malwa regions of Punjab to preserve traditional games of Punjab.
The Chief Minister also sought Rs 41.5 crore for construction of states sports complex at Mohali.
The Union Sports Minister, appreciating the initiative taken by Mr Badal to revive sports culture in the state, offered full support of the Union government in all ventures of State Government. He suggested to the Punjab government to emulate Tamil Nadu model to revive rural sports in the state, in which the state government has earmarked one acre land in each village for sports stadium.