Another controversy hits National Games 2011 at Goa

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

PANAJI - Alleging there was a massive scam in land acquisition for the National Games 2011, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Wednesday said a top sports official owned a huge plot of land to be acquired for the sports city in north Goa.

The sports city is coming up at Dhargal in North Goa.

Leader of Opposition Manohar Parrikar said the sports authority of Goa (SAG) executive director V.M. Prabhudessai’s family owned 400,000 sq mt out of the 1.3 million sq mt project and that the official was aggressively pushing for acquiring the land.

“The person who is in charge of the full National Games 2011 project also has land rights there. He automatically becomes an interested party because four lakh sq mt belongs to Prabhudessai,” Parrikar said.

The BJP leader and former chief minister was speaking during the question hour of the monsoon session of the Goa legislative assembly.

Parrikar alleged that in the guise of a National games sports city, a real estate project was being slipped in.

“Why should a sports city have a multiplex? This seems more like a hotel project more than anything else,” Parrikar said.

Refuting the opposition’s charge, Sports Minister Manohar Azgaonkar said the site had been selected by a Delhi-based consultant agency appointed to prepare a detailed project report for submission to the Planning Commission of India and the union ministry of youth affairs and sports.

The concept of the sports city has been mired in controversy from the time Goa was selected to host the 2011 National Games some years back.

The site initially chosen was Neura in North Goa. However, the government was forced to relocate to Dhargal, in the sports minister’s constituency, in face of public protest from Neura residents.

The proposed sports city at Dhargal is expected to have hockey and equestrian stadiums, a cycling velodrome, and an indoor sports complex, among other sports facilities.

Filed under: Hockey

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