In April this year, Sports minister Kiren Rijiju inaugurated the Khelo India State Centre of Excellence (KISCE) for rowing at the Jammu and Kashmir Sports Council Water Sports Academy. KISCE will be provided a first-time grant of Rs 145.16 lakh and an annual recurring grant of Rs 96.17 lakh and more focus will be shown towards rowing.
The Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has approved the addition of two more water sports disciplines of Kayaking and Canoeing at the KISCE, Srinagar, as previously it had only rowing facilities.
A players from Jammu however said that it is good that water sports is getting special focus but what about the Centre of Excellence for Fencing announced for Jammu by the Union Ministry.
But the question arises why Jammu needs to wait for “Fencing centre’’? It’s been eight months since the Central Government announced a “Fencing centre” in Jammu division but nothing can be seen on ground. “Why J&K Sports Council is showing partiality in establishing the Fencing Centre at Maulana Azad Stadium Jammu” asked a player.
A veteran player said that the sports infrastructure is much better in Srinagar and every time it is Jammu that has to suffer.
It’s ironic that a Detailed Project Report (DPR) of “Fencing Centre” was prepared, halls were identified and officials had discussed many other logistic facilities but even after the lapse of so many months nothing is seen on ground.
“J&K Sports Council had five months from October till mid of march before the second wave of COVID and lockdown, , but the work was not expedited for Fencing Centre Jammu,” said an international fencer. Also he added that “it appears that the J&K Administration is more concerned about Kashmir and not for Jammu.”
A consolidated amount of Rs 5.08 crore has been approved for the two centres. Currently, there are 24 KISCEs across 23 states and union territories and each of them focuses on Olympics sports.
Administrative Officer JK Sports Council Riyaz Ahmad as peer media reports said that a proposal for the engagement of staff (nine posts) for the Centre has been decided and forwarded to Sports Authority of India (SAI) for evaluations. Regarding construction of infrastructure of the Centre, Riyaz Ahmad said that apart from hall, boarding and lodging was also part of the infrastructure, matter has been taken up with the SAI and their decision is still pending.