The Higher Education Department must reallocate the ambitious indoor stadium project to the college to meet the future requirement of the Baramulla district. All stakeholders must make efforts to realise this goal.
Syed Rizwan Geelani
The historic Prof. Showkat Ali Stadium in Khoja Bagh Baramulla always remains a one-stop destination for the administration, state sports council besides other departments (police and Army) to organize various sports or cultural events in the district.
Situated at the prime location alongside the Baramulla-Srinagar highway, this ground remains the center of attraction for people from different walks of life. The playfield belongs to the Government Degree College (GDC) Baramulla as per the revenue records.
The playfield is commonly known as Degree College Ground but it is mostly used by the sports council and other departments for holding sports events. Also, at times the ground is used for parking places for vehicles in times of elections or counting of votes.
The playfield remains abuzz from dawn to dusk with people coming here for morning walk to get their jammed nerves relaxed besides youth and elderly people often visit here to spend their quality time during the morning and afternoon hours.
Recently the Higher Education Department (HED) had sanctioned an indoor games hall for GDC Baramulla which was supposed to come up on a patch of land of the ground, which belongs to the GDC Baramulla. The sports facility was approved in a bid to augment the sports facility for the college.
Unfortunately, the project hit a roadblock because of the external interference in the internal matters of the college due to which the mega project worth Rs 4 crores was withdrawn by the HED. A group of people, to oppose the construction of the indoor games hall, misled the district administration and the HED which prompted the government to wind up the project.
Few people sabotaged the establishment of the indoor sports facility citing that one indoor stadium already exists in the vicinity and a new indoor hall for the college was “not needed”.
But the fact is that the existing indoor stadium is not owned by the GDC Baramulla despite having been constructed on a patch of land in possession of GDC Baramulla and the students do not have direct access to it.
The fact is that the establishment of the indoor sports facility for the college was sabotaged only to keep the ground open for athletes of locality and other adjoining areas. While respecting the sentiments of the athletes we must acknowledge that it is not genuine to interfere in the internal matters and functioning of the GDC Baramulla.
We cannot deny the fact that the land (college ground) is owned by the GDC Baramulla not the Sports Council or any other organization or department which holds the event on the ground.
The ground has remained a first choice for morning walk and other sports tournaments (organized by Army, Police, and Sports council) but that does not mean that external forces will have supremacy and snatch the property rights of the GDC Boys Baramulla over the land. This land belongs to college and will remain so.
The academicians particularly those who have served or are serving in the college also believe that augmentation of space for sports facilities as addition to existing ones is a desirable and sane step.
More so when it is a co-educational institution, having separate facilities for girls and boys would be a good option. “This new indoor stadium if it was permitted to be constructed would need three to four years to be fully functional and by that time the number of users would have multiplied,” said renowned educationist, Prof. Tariq Ali Chalkoo.
He said the facility could have been offered to adjoining schools and colleges as well. “It is disheartening to note that the project has been opposed and finally abandoned by withdrawal of funds. Relocation of the facility wa
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