CHAKWAL: Due to the apathy of the Punjab government the construction of the Chakwal Sports Complex could not be completed even after over 10 years.
In 2006, the then government of Pervez Musharraf decided to build new sports complexes across the country to boost sports.
According to documents obtained by Dawn, 21 such schemes were sanctioned for different districts of Punjab under the Pakistan Sports Board. Being a close aide to Musharraf and the then chief minister Chaudhry Pervez Elahi, former district nazim Sardar Ghulam Abbas had also got approved a sports complex for Chakwal. For this purpose, 204 kanals owned by the Evacuee Trust Property Board was acquired.
The foundation of the complex was laid by Mr Abbas on October 9, 2007, and the project was supposed to be completed in 2009 at a cost of Rs83 million.
According to the plan, a gymnasium, a football ground, two grounds for basketball, two for volleyball, one ground for hockey, a hostel for the players and a swimming pool were to be established in the complex.
However, in the wake of the 2008 elections work on all the 21 slowed down.
When the 18th Amendment was passed on April 8, 2010, all the 21 schemes were handed over to the Punjab government. The provincial government could not release funds for the projects due to which the construction work suffered further delays.
Work on the gymnasium at the complex was completed in 2013 but the building has been left abandoned. Its doors and windows were broken by boys who used to play there while an electric transformer was also stolen. Recently, all the missing facilities at the gymnasium were provided at a cost of Rs19 million but the gym is yet to be functional.
The construction work on the players’ hostel was left half done. The boundary wall of the complex has also crumbled and the road to the complex is in shambles.
The idea of constructing a swimming pool in the complex was dropped while the hockey ground is yet to be constructed.
When contacted, District Sports Officer Waheed Ahmed claimed that a summary for the provision of funds had been sent to the authorities. “The remaining work would be completed soon,” he said, adding the chief minister himself would inaugurate the gym in a few days.
Published in Dawn, October 21st, 2017
Courtesy : DAWN