Lack of residential facilities and high rentals have scared national sports federations away from holding their training camps or major tournaments at the state-of-the-art Commonwealth Games (CWG) venues, some of which have started to rot within a year of the mega event here.
White elephants: The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium built for the CWG has not been used since as most sports bodies prefer to hold their camps elsewhere owing to the lack of residential facilities. File pic
In the last one year, only a handful of tournaments have been held at the 12 CWG venues which were put up spending crores of rupees. The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) chiefs fear these huge stadiums will soon become white elephants, like the ones in South Africa after the FIFA World Cup, if they are not thrown open to sportspersons and federations.
The upkeep of these world-class stadiums is a major concern for their owners, the government agencies. Athletics Federation of India (AFI) director ML Dogra says AFI prefers to hold its camps at NIS, Patiala, or at various Sports Authority of India (SAI) centres instead of the swanky Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium because of lack of residential facilities there.
"We prefer to have our national camps at NIS in Patiala, SAI centres in Kolkata or Bangalore or at the Usha School of Athletics in Calicut where there is good residential accommodation. We generally prefer to have the Nehru stadium as the transit camp," said Dogra.
12 Number of venues that were used for the Commonwealth Games last year