The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) seems like it doesn’t want to hand over the Rs 21 crore sports complex it has constructed in Dharavi to the district sports and youth welfare department of the government of Maharashtra. Sources from the MMRDA told MiD DAY that the work on the sports complex is almost complete but the authority is yet to hand it over. When MiD DAY visited the stadium, we found that stray dogs had taken over the facility.
The multi-facility sports complex in Dharavi has been built on 12,430 sq m plot with the main structure occupying 6,645 square metres with facilities for sports like squash, billiards, badminton, table tennis, carrom and a sophisticated gymnasium. An official from the authority requesting anonymity said, “The work of the sports complex is already completed but I seriously don’t know why the delay in its opening is taking place.”
The sports complex also has special provisions for kabaddi and kho-kho along with courts for basketball and volleyball. The swimming pool of semi-Olympic size (25x25 meters) and another for learners measuring 12.5x12.5 meters are added attractions.
Before the construction, MMRDA had said that the aim was to promote sporting culture and the complex would be an ideal facility for budding gymnasts and athletes. In the month of June last year MiD DAY is its report (Dharavi gets a swanky new sports complex) had shown how more than 90 per cent of the work has been completed and MMRDA officials had even said the sports complex would be handed over to district sports and youth welfare department soon.
However, it’s been more than 10 months now but still the planning authority is yet to hand it over. When questioned regarding the same, MMRDA joint project director Dilip Kawatkar said, “We have already requested the district sports officer of the state government to take over the sports complex and the proposal is under consideration.”
The locals in the area are of opinion that they should get membership in the club at subsidized rates as there are many youngsters in the area who if trained and guided properly can make a career in sports. Sources also told this newspaper that the proposal to hand over the sports complex was sent by MMRDA to District Sports Officer five months back.
Speaking to MiD DAY, a district sports official, N B Mote, said, “MMRDA has yet not handed over the sports complex to us. Recently the Occupation Certificate for the sports complex has been received and once MMRDA hands over the sports complex to us, we will decide the opening date.”
The complex offers 200 and 100 meter running tracks, a spectator gallery with a capacity of about 300 people, an auditorium that can accommodate more than 300 people, a conference room, a library, separate dormitories for men and women, stores, bank, ATM, guest rooms, changing rooms and a cafeteria.