Asif Mohd Bilal
Tral: A playing field on the outskirts of Tral town continues to remain in a dilapidated state despite continued insistence of the local players to make it playable. Known as Bajwani Stadium, the field’s state has not changed despite pumping in an adequate amount of money from the state exchequer.
Locals say that the money invested in the playing field has gone down the drain. “Instead of repairing the stadium, it has been left with potholes and stubs of mulberry tree. This is posing threat to players’ life,” said a player.
Moreso, mulberry trees are spanning across the stadium, giving tough time to players. The deplorable condition of the stadium can be gauged from the fact that players can’t run to catch a ball as they fear they might hit a mulberry tree.
This reporter went to the stadium and saw it dotted with potholes. It was not properly leveled and no proper sitting arrangements is available. The Spectators also face inconvenience as there is no arrangement for them to enjoy the game. Furthermore, there is no proper pavilion structure and fencing around the stadium. We face much trouble as mulberry trees and potholes always became hindrance in our game, which sometimes leads injuries to the players, rued teen player Amir Mohammad. “When it rains, we are not able to play for a week as the potholes are filled with rainwater. It is the lone sports stadium in Tral area, the local administrative apathy towards the stadium marred the progress of not only the stadium but has also started adversely affecting the sports activities. We are not able to hone our skills as there is no facility available in the stadium, said a local cricketer Zafar-ul- Islam.
We approached concerned authorities many a times and urged them to renovate and repair the playground but there was only cold response.
“We want to polish our skills and represent Kashmir at national and international levels as there is no dearth of talent in Tral, but lack of facilities and government’s step-motherly attitude is killing our aspirations and dreams,” said a group of cricketers. The players also demanded that Tral should have separate stadiums for outdoor and indoor games with all facilities available so that the area could produce best talent.
A local resident of Tral alleged that work on the stadium has been initiated many times but due to unknown reasons, authorities always stopped the work on it and the situation of the stadium is same as was before.
When contacted ADC Tral, Reyaz Ahmad Malik said that work on the stadium gets delayed due to frequent strikes and persistent deteriorating situation in the Tral township. He further added that he would arrange a meeting with concerned officials to ascertain the work and direct them to complete it as soon as possible.