SRINAGAR: Amid the growing interest in sports among youngsters and when several sports activities are taking place throughout the Valley, with even the government sponsoring many events, the youth of Eid gah area of Shehr-e-Khaas have been left fuming without a sports stadium for cricket.
Eidgah ground is one of the area’s premier playing fields and has been used as a playground for decades, catering to a huge chunk of cricket and football lovers who come here throughout the year to exhibit their talent. The ground, however, has developed potholes and has become uneven at many places.
“We are facing immense problems in the absence of a sports stadium. We only have Eid gah ground where we can play, which too is in a very bad condition. It has developed potholes and become uneven at many places. After incessant rains, the water accumulates in it, making it unfit for playing on,” a regular player at the ground told Kashmir Reader.
According to the local youth, the Waqf Board has claimed the ground as public parking and restricted youth from playing here.
“This ground has been used as a playground from the time of our forefathers, but we are always under threat that the Waqf Board may come and ask us to vacate from here. Waqf Board has allotted one side of the ground to play football, but we cricket players have nowhere to play other than this shoddy ground,” said a group of cricketers.
“The ground is in a pathetic position. We ourselves work hard at making this ground sound enough to play on, but it’s an open ground, many people come here to learn driving and our pitches can get easily damaged by their vehicles. The ground has got huge dents, and every team contributes from their hard-earned money to bring this ground in a position to be played on. Many school buses and local truck drivers also trespass here, which further damages the already poor playing space,” they further added.
The anguished players claimed that they had made many a request to the concerned authorities but all fell on deaf ears.
“The local teams submitted a file to the concerned department in which we clearly stated the problems we face, but the authorities never paid any heed. We also tried to gain their attention through social networking sites, but all in vain” said a player, wishing anonymity.
For its part, Waheed-Ur-Rehman Parra, secretary, Jammu & Kashmir State Sports Council said that they are ready to lend their support if the people of Shehr-e-Khaas are willing to accept.
“We have a proposal for Eidgah, but just to avoid any confrontation with anyone there, we are waiting for the consent of locals. They should send some delegation to us, so that we can address their grievances. We will send our team; whatever their grievances will be, we would love to address them,” he assured.
“Our Chief Minister is personally very concerned for the development of downtown. Not only this delegation, we welcome every delegation from downtown who is willing to excel in sports and needs our help. We had put up some projects at Ghani Memorial Stadium, Radapora Stadium and we will have an indoor complex as well, but we really need something very big in downtown and for that we need support from the locals,” he further added.