(Article by Yudish Dubey & Darshan Mistary)
NASHIK: The expansion of Raje Sambhaji Stadium under the “Khelo India Program” of the central government has been delayed due to Covid-19 and is causing inconvenience to the residents in the neighbouring areas. The expansion of the playground would add basketball, lawn, sports academy and training centre, hostel building, state-of-the-art library, sitting gallery, VIP gallery and restaurant.
The playground is used by elderly people, teenagers and even professional players, for exercising, practising sports and other activities. To know the suffering of residents and the reason behind the delayed work, Deshdoot Times interviewed few local residents and government officials. A resident on the condition of anonymity shared his concerns regarding the delayed work at The Raje Sambhaji Stadium.
The resident stated the work has not moved any further almost from the last two years. The work was initially started at the end of 2019 but got stalled due to the pandemic. The place where the hostel building was supposed to be constructed has been dug up to 15 feet and has been left like that past two years, thus turned into a dangerous spot. Water accumulated in the 15 feet pit due to rain, and the residents witnessed local kids swimming.
They had to inform authorities as the water is not safe for human purposes and could lead to various water-borne diseases. The construction has led to the formation of puddles making it an unpleasant experience for the people visiting the stadium regularly. The resident even mentioned that if this were to be private property, then the owner would have had got fined by the authorities, but no action is being taken as all this is the government’s work.
A government official (anonymous), on being questioned about the delayed work of Raje Sambhaji Stadium, stated that Covid-19 delayed the project so far. He further mentioned that they got an allowance to move the project further. However, they couldn’t find workers who would work for the stadium’s expansion as the tennis ground was priorly converted into Covid centre.
The official is aware of the problems the residents face daily and has assured them that the work would be finalised in a year. Raje Sambhaji Stadium, visited by hundreds of people in a day, has become an unpleasant sight for people because of the clogged water leading to the accumulation of silt.
The clogged water can lead to various diseases like dengue, malaria and chikungunya. The rebars, rock boulders and the half-constructed site is overall making it a very dangerous place. Thus, the authorities should work on getting the project finalized as soon as possible.