Crores spent on Shopian sports infra with little to show on ground

Crores spent on Shopian sports infra with little to show on ground

SHOPIAN: District Shopian has the worst possible sports facilities, except for the cricket playground in Batpora area of main town. The state and central governments have consumed crores of rupees in the name of sports development under many schemes like Khelo India, but no such scheme ever turned fruitful for district Shopian since neither was any playground made nor were the existing ones upgraded to a level where games could be played on them.
Batpora Cricket Stadium is the lone one of its kind in the district with a smooth ground and somewhat satisfactory facilities. But it also lacks a genuine space as far as cricket stadiums are concerned.
Owais Ahmad, a cricketer from Shopian, who has played many leagues at state and district levels, said that there are many places with a vast space that can be used for sports infrastructure. “Unfortunately, all of those grounds have been abandoned by the government, and youth has been left with no option for where to play,” he said.
A group of young cricketers from Trenz area told Kashmir Reader that despite the availability of land in the village, the government never turned to develop the space for a cricket stadium. “Earlier, some funds were released by the government to make the ground playable, but it was left midway by the authorities due to unknown reasons,” Nisar Ahmad, a local cricketer said.
Playgrounds at Pehlipora, Molu, Hirpora and Zainpora villages of the district have, according to locals, been similarly abandoned by the government. At many places, children and even adults could be seen playing on the roads, due to the lack of sporting facilities.
A source from Shopian hospital said that drug abuse in the district is at an alarming level and sports activities were the only means to take people out of that mess. “You know, an idle man’s bran is the devil’s workshop, so once a person, particularly youth, remains without work or sports activities, he in one or the other gets trapped in the cycle of drug abuse,” he said.
Locals from Zainpora said that despite being a centre for many villages in the area, their village has also been left without adequate sports facilities. “The government made many claims for developing sports infrastructure but didn’t do anything on ground, and children have no other option than to play on the roads,” said Jahangir Ahmad, another local youth from Zainpora. He added that the government must look into the woes of youth and shall address them soon.
Similarly, at Molu village, a vast space to make a good cricket stadium has been left incomplete. The same is the case with Pehlipora and Trenz grounds, which have been left incomplete by the authorities and are not in a position where sports activities could be conducted on them.
Hirpora cricket ground also has good space but is not developed, and the Harmain and Hajpora areas of district Shopian have similar problems as well. “We want to conduct matches here, but the condition of the ground doesn’t let us as injures can take place on it due to its bad condition,” a local cricketer said.
Deputy Commissioner Shopian Owais Ahmad couldn’t be reached despite repeated attempts to contact him on the phone.