SHILLONG | June 06, 2019:
Meghalaya Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma today said that the State Government will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to submit detailed proposals for hosting the National Games in 2022.
"We will be meeting Prime Minister in a month's time to submit the detailed proposals on the plan of the State Government for hosting the National Games," Sangma said while speaking to reporters after inspecting the site Umsawli village in New Shillong Township for construction of the main stadium and the Games village for the National Games.
According to Meghalaya Chief Minister, the projected expenditures for development of the infrastructures for hosting of the National Games will be above Rs 1500 crore and it may be touch even upto Rs 2000 crore.
"We are examining the areas for raising the resources. It is not possible for the State Government to raise these resources on its own. We are hopeful that the Centre will support us. At the same time, we may be looking at private partnership in some sections which would help to save the investment money. We are hoping to get the support from the different agencies. The meeting with the Prime Minister is very crucial," he said.
Sangma also said that during the meeting with the 15 Finance Commission, the State Government had sought the support of Rs 15000 upto Rs 2000 crore for the National Games.
"The response from the Finance Commission was positive. We expect some kind of support from the Finance Commission on this aspect. To what extend it can support the State Government, that we will know later," Meghalaya Chief Minister said.
Talking about the main stadium, he said that the State Government had submitted a proposal to the Social Justice Ministry to set up a Disability stadium at the proposed site at Umsawli.
Informing that the Centre had planned to set up five disability stadium, he said that they had impressed upon the Centre that one disability stadium meant for the Eastern Region should be set up in Shillong. Sangma said that the disability stadium will have swimming pool, a large indoor multi indoor stadium and the main stadium which would be able to accommodate at least 30,000 people.
"The disability stadium will allow the State Government to use the facility for the National Games. This matter is lying with the Union Cabinet. We are hopeful that the Government of India would clear this proposal at the earliest," Meghalaya Chief Minister said.
On the Game Village for the National Games, he said that the Centre normally will not fund for the Game Village adding that the setting up of the Game Village will have to be looked at more from the State's point of view.
"The State Government are exploring four to five options which is available for the setting up of the Games Village. Probably in a month's time we will be taking a final decision on how to move ahead with the setting up of the Game Village," Sangma said.
It may be mentioned that the Government has earmarked 50 acres of land for the main stadium and another 66 acres of land for the Games Village.
When asked how optimistic is the State Government that it would be able to host the National Games, he said that the State Government is aware of the challenges.
"We know there is less working season in our State. It is because of this reason that planning takes a lot of time. This kind of event requires huge financial implication. It is not possible for the Government to give it a green signal without going through the detailed plan. We are hopeful to be able to complete it and make all efforts to complete the project on time," Meghalaya Chief Minister said.
He further said that this is a prestigious event since 2022 is an important year for the country as it will be celebrating 75 year of independence and in the case of Meghalaya, it will be celebrating its 50 years of its Statehood.
"I am confident that we will be able to complete the whole exercise on time," he added.
It may be mentioned that Meghalaya Chief Minister during the inspection was accompanied by Sports and Youth Affairs Minister, Banteidor Lyngdoh, Tourism Minister, Metbah Lyngdoh, Health and Family Welfare Minister, A.L. Hek and senior officials from various Government departments.