- NATIONAL GAMES: RACE AGAINST TIME
NATIONAL GAMES: RACE AGAINST TIME
Lurching from controversy of constant postponements and delays, the clock ticking has probably got a bit louder as its 84 days before the State hosts the official 36th National Games from March 30, 2019. As the excitement begins during the crucial stages of preparations,ALLAN D’CRUZ gives us an insight of the state’s readiness and other affairs with just three months to go.
After constant postponements and delays, the countdown for the 36th National Games is running at full throttle. The wait, excitement, expectations and anticipation is finally palpable among the sports enthusiasts with just 84 days to go for the much awaited 36th National Games scheduled to begin on March 30 to April.
The pan-India sports event seems to finally see the light at the end of the dark tunnel as the National Games preparations are taking good shape with all infrastructure works taking off on-ground.
In the immediacy which dominates life, the 12 weeks time might look quite sufficient for the preparations for the Games which had been underway since last three years, but considering the fact that Goa had failed to abide by the promises made earlier, the clock will surely tick faster than usual in the State as the key infrastructure still remains the construction of two indoor complexes at Sawalwada, Pernem, and at Campal, Panjim. The two projects have seen just 20-30 per cent of the work being completed with just three months to go.
Not forgetting the squash court at Chicalim which began its works in August 2018, has seen just 20 per cent of the work completed for past six months and the authority concerned has assured to complete the balance 80 per cent of the works in the next three months.
The newly constructed Multi-purpose hall at Navelim, which commenced in January 2017 is on verge of completion after the span of two years and has just around 20 per cent of the work left to the completed. The work at these venues is ongoing but completion in time remains a huge task.
Although, it is no secret that the IOA led committee has particularly expressed apprehensions over the construction of these facilities in time for the Games, the State Government officials and the contractors sound confident, with shifts now spanning over three and increase in skilled workforce.
Despite uncertainty over the completion of certain venues, the State is sure and confident of the Games this time around as they have entrusted the ceremonies of the event with the Entertainment Society of Goa who have planned to launch the National Games in a magnificent way in January 2019.
The confidence, the Executive Director, SAG and Jt. CEO VM Prabhudesai said comes from the previous experience with the contractors who delivered projects in time for the Lusofonia Games, stadia which were larger and more complex in nature and more over the support from the entire Government machinery.
In some areas, State Government’s investments appear to be secured. There are ready-made stadiums in place such as SAG ground Utorda, Benaulim ground, Tilak Maidan, PJN Stadium with little bit of touch up will ensure the venue will remain a fitting home to major sporting events in the years to come.
Funds which otherwise seemed to be a concern for most departments does not seem to have affected the Games, the Government not only having provisioned but also appropriately sanctioned and released, says the Secretary (Sports) & CEO of the Games.
The difference some say is the direct involvement of the Chief Secretary monitoring the Games, who has been made chairman of one of the important committees, namely, the Executive Management Committee. This led to better coordination amongst the departments and has also streamlined processes. It is whispered that although the absence of the Chief Minister who is also the chairman of the committee, is felt, the gap has substantially been filled by the control taken by the Chief Secretary and Secretary (Sports) and Secretary to the Chief Minister who is also the CEO of the Games.