Shimla: For meeting the needs of varied sporting disciplines, newly elected Himachal chapter of Indian Olympic Association plans to spend about Rs 40 crore over the next five years to upgrade sports infrastructure.
President elect Jagat Prakash Nadda, who also happens to be the state forest minister, claimed before media persons that he was elected unanimously at the meet on Sunday at Bilaspur.
The elections were conducted in peace after Ram Lal Thakur, the former president and a former minister, tried to disrupt the election process and later refused to participate in the proceedings, he said.
He said the new office bearers would do everything to revamp sports in the state that had been lying in limbo for more than two decades because vested interests were sitting on positions of authority.
Nadda said that the Olympic association would adopt the model of HP Cricket Association for promoting sports.
Parliamentarian Anurag Thakur, who in addition to being the president of Himachal Cricket Association has been made general secretary of Olympic Association said, Board of Cricket Control of India has already committed to spend Rs 25 crore for establishing a stadium in each district of the state.
An additional Rs 15 crore would be secured from state resources and by involving the corporate sector, which would compile into a Rs 40 crore corpus, he said, that would be spent for upgrading sports related infrastructure.
The cricketing infrastructure would be also used for promoting other sport disciplines, he said.
“For a start the Himachal Olympic Association would hold a Shimla Olympic Festival meet in the month of October that would instill a competitive spirit, said Thakur.
He said that people like KPS Gill, president of Himachal Men’s Hockey Association had been on the body long enough but had failed to have even put up a single Astroturf field in the state for promoting hockey.
There are 14 state sports associations, which include boxing, judo, basketball, athletics, volleyball, kabaddi, hockey, gymnastics, shooting, taekwando, badminton that were affiliated with the state Olympic body.