A squash court in Jharkhand’s Dhanbad, built during the 34th National Games held in 2011, is tumbling down because of the lack of proper funds over the last seven years. The dilapidated condition of the squash court, which is otherwise expensive to rebuild and maintain, has left squash players of the district high and dry.
Speaking to The Telegraph, Dhanbad district squash association secretary Abhishek Pandey said, “Due to the lack of a squash court for practice only IIT (ISM) students represent the district team in squash tournaments while other players are deprived of an opportunity to join the team.” He further added, “We have raised the issue with the district administration several times, but nothing has been done about it,” added Pandey, who works as a coach at the IIT (ISM) court.
The court had been built by the state government after spending Rs 53 lakh on the IIT (ISM) campus during the national games. The squash court started crumbling ever since it was sealed by the authorities along with 84 other buildings on the district board land, in accordance with a high court order of 2011. The district administration, however, could reopen the court for only 20 days in January 2012 upon the instruction of then deputy commissioner Sunil Kumar Barnwal after it was believed that no commercial activity was taking place in the court. In the month of April next year, a number of articles, including furniture, electrical and toilet fittings, were stolen.
“I am not aware of any such court lying unused. But I will instruct officials to look into the issue and initiate steps to revive it,” said Dhanbad deputy development commissioner Sashi Ranjan, in utter denial. District sports officer Azfer Hasain said he would conduct an inspection of the squash court, “If necessary we will send a proposal to the state, art, culture, sports and youth affairs department that had built it in the first place to renovate the squash court.”