Lieutenant Governor, Girish Chandra Murmu on Wednesday inaugurated the renovated Maulana Azad Cricket Stadium Jammu on Wednesday.
Kewal Kumar Sharma, Farooq Khan and Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar- Advisors to the Lieutenant Governor; SJugal Kishore Sharma, Member Parliament; Chander Mohan Gupta, Mayor, Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC); BVR Subrahmanyam, Chief Secretary; Arun Kumar Mehta, Financial Commissioner, Finance; Sanjeev Verma, Divisional Commissioner Jammu; Pandurang K. Pole, Secretary, Department of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs; M Raju, Secretary, PDD, Sushma Chauhan, Deputy Commissioner Jammu; Sarmad Hafeez, Special Secretary, Youth Services and Sports and other Administrative Secretaries, senior functionaries of Police, Civil Administration, Sports Council and large number of sportspersons and sports enthusiasts attended the inaugural ceremony.
In his inaugural address, the Lt Governor congratulated the sports fraternity of J&K for having the international level sports facilities here at the newly inaugurated MA Cricket Stadium.
He expressed delight to inaugurate the renovated Maulana Azad Stadium that has been upgraded under the Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP) which is one of the priorities of the present Government. When the Development Package was prepared, I was fortunate enough to be a part of it, he said, adding that, around Rs 40 cr have been spent out of the Rs 200 cr earmarked for sports infrastructure and rest of the amount would be spent for developing sports facilities all over the UT. Apart from cricket, other sports like football, Hockey, Volleyball, and Athletics etc required attention and various projects were going on to develop facilities for the sports earlier played in the said stadium, he added.
Terming this as a historic occasion, the Lt Governor said that the need for an International Standard cricket stadium was fulfilled today for further grooming the talent of our youth and expose them to international requirements.
He observed that the people of J&K have immense love for sports and the present Government is making headways in developing sports in the UT with various sports development projects underway and many more being in the pipeline. He said that several Outdoor and Indoor sports are being played in, around M.A. Stadium and this facility has become a sporting hub for the youth, and sports loving people of Jammu with all modern sports equipment available there.
Government is resolute to develop sports and allied infrastructure and promotion of sports at grass root level and for this, land is being identified at Panchayat level, the Lt Governor maintained.
The Lt Governor observed that sports is vital for the holistic development of youth, fostering their physical, social, and emotional health and imbibing qualities like leadership, teamwork, fair play and discipline which one needs to achieve higher goals. It is an encouraging sign for J&K that our youth have brought laurels to the UT at various national and international events, he added.
The Lt Governor emphasized on the high importance of cooperation and participation of the people to lead the Union Territory of J&K marching ahead rapidly on the path of the development.
The Government is committed to fulfilling the developmental aspirations of the people and Youth in particular to channelize the young energies in Nation Building, he added.
The Lt Governor expressed hope that the youth , sports persons and sports lovers gathered on this historic occasion would carry forward the spirit of universal harmony and brotherhood, and that the facility would contribute immensely to the physical and social well being of the younger generation.
Meanwhile, the Lt Governor also spoke on the prevailing situation in the UT and while addressing the media persons, he informed that the Government is taking a regular assessment of the current situation and the internet restrictions would be lifted in a phased manner after assessing the situation on regular basis.
While speaking on the occasion, Farooq Khan, Advisor to the Lieutenant Governor said that the new international level stadium would give a great push to the development of sports in J&K. He said that the Government is making dedicated efforts to create new sports facilities at various levels and hoped that with the coming of facilities of international standards, the sports in J&K would emerge as a power house in the national and international arena.
In his welcome address, Sarmad Hafeez, Special Secretary, Youth Services and Sports informed that the facility has been upgraded as per Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) norms and the Stadium would be an ideal one in accordance to promote sports in J&K.
The new stadium developed exclusively for Cricket activities will have the international standards sports facilities like high tower flood lights, enhanced pavilion and sitting arrangements.
On the occasion, the Lt Governor interacted with the sports persons and also awarded the winner and runner-up teams of Panchayat Level Football Cup.
Demonstration of sports activities like Wushu, Judo and Yoga was presented by the young sports persons and an exhibition cricket match was also played to mark the formal opening of the MA Cricket Stadium.