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There are no funds to maintain Mangala Stadium, says official

Published On : 06 Aug 2018

Mangaluru,(The Hindu): While coaches and sports association members have demanded that the synthetic track be properly maintained and that repairs be carried out to the leaking roof of the spectators gallery at the old Mangala Stadium, in-charge Deputy Director of Youth and Sports Pradeep D’Souza said that there was no funds with the department to carry out maintenance and repair works at the stadium.

These facts came to the fore during a visit to the stadium by Urban Development and Housing Minister U.T. Khader, who is also Minister in-charge of Dakshina Kannada, here on Sunday.

Athletics coach Dinesh Kunder and members of the District Athletics Association took Mr. Khader around the synthetic track laid in 2013 and showed several areas where the track has become uneven because of lack of maintenance. They also complained about the absence of a trained marker. They also showed weeds that had grown around the track and which had been left unremoved.

Mr. Kunder showed Mr. Khader the portions of the roof of the viewers gallery at the stadium that was coming off. Athletes were not being allowed to the gallery for performing stretching and other exercises due to this, he said.

A member of the Athletics Association said that unlike other stadiums, the Youth Services and Sports Department has not made arrangements for a mobile shed to protect the pole vault bed. In the absence of a shed, athletes are forced to bring the heavy pole vault bed from the shed to the practice area and again move it back.

Mr. D’Souza told Mr. Khader that there was no funds to carry out the maintenance and repair work. While the stadium gets around  40 lakh per year from the exhibition at the Karavali Grounds, most of the amount goes for salary and other expenses of the 16 personnel working on contract basis. The  87 lakh savings amount with the Stadium Development Committee was given as per the order of the State government for the construction of a swimming pool in Yemmikere. “It is difficult to maintain the stadium in the absence of any resources,” he said.

Mr. Khader asked Mr. D’Souza to seek funds from organisations, including Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited and Corporation Bank. “You should move around to get funds from these organisations,” he said. Mr. Khader said that he would propose construction of a shopping complex along the periphery of the stadium under the Smart City Project that would help Mangala Stadium generate revenue.

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