The Centre is worried that Goa may not be able to come up with the required infrastructure to host the Lusofonia Games 2013 in November next year.
The Games for all Portuguese speaking nations were allotted to Goa in 2009 but until the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government swept to power and chief minister Manohar Parrikar assumed office in March this year, the project files were all gathering dust.
The state government has sought assistance from the Centre to finance Games-related projects, but the Centre —while not turning down Goa’s request— has raised apprehensions that Goa may not be ready.
“Goa may like to consider roping in neigbouring states like Karnataka and Maharashtra where some facilities exist and where some of the events could be held. However, for this, concurrence of these states will be required,” union minister for sports and youth affairs, Ajay Maken, told chief minister Manohar Parrikar recently.
Maken has asked for the ‘final list of venues’ for the Lusofonia Games but till early this week, Goa had not reverted back to the sports ministry.
“As of now we are not considering the option of sharing the Lusofonia Games with neighbouring states. It’s practically impossible. It can only end up being a logistical nightmare,” a senior official from the sports secretariat told STOI.
Maharashtra has the Balewadi sports complex in Pune that has excellent facilities to host events like athletics, table tennis and judo, while Bangalore in Karnataka also has impressive sports infrastructure, having hosted the National Games in 1997. Both facilities are 600 kms away from Goa.
“The Centre is understandably worried that Goa has not made significant progress on infrastructure. There are only 13 months remaining for the Games.
“We have been told by ACOLOP (the organizers) that the dates for the Lusofonia Games are sacrosanct. They cannot be changed. We have no choice but to meet the deadlines. The state government is moving in the right direction,” said the official.
Courtesy : TOI