The Punjab Government has decided to set up a Rs. 100 crore State Institute of Sports (PIS) at Mohali to provide free of cost specialized training along with hostel and diet facilities to 500 high potential players to make significant contribution in improving the national medal tallies in Asian, Commonwealth and Olympic games. Disclosing this here today at prize distribution ceremony of 5th National Fencing Federation Cup for Men and women, the Punjab Revenue, Public Relations and Non-conventional Energy Minister Mr. Bikram Singh Majithia said that Punjab was the 1st State to formulate and implement its comprehensive Sports Policy with special focus on creating world class sports infrastructure along with specialized training for high potential players. He said that the setting up of PIS was a step in this direction.
Mr. Majithia informed that the sports budget of the state has been enhanced to Rs. 142 crore in 2013-14. He pointed out that Rs. 200 crores have been spent on creation of world class sports infrastructure with construction/renovation/up-gradation of 13 international level sports stadiums. These includes 6 Hockey Stadiums with provision of latest Astro Turf at Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar , Hockey Synthetic Surface, Village Ghudda, Distt. Bathinda ,Govt. Barjindera College, Faridkot , Govt. Rajindera College, Bathinda , Hockey Stadium, Sector-63, Mohali and 7 Multipurpose Stadiums including War Hero’s Stadium, Sangrur, N.M. College, Mansa, Sports Stadium, Bathinda, Outdoor Stadium, Hoshiarpur ,GuruGobind Singh Stadium, Jalandhar, Govt. College Stadium, Gurdaspur and Guru Nanak Stadium, Amritsar. Besides this, one International Sports Hostel, at Jalandhar has also been set up.
The Minister revealed that the State government has also earmarked Rs. 16.5 crore for unique sports scholarships to top ranked as well as budding players in the state. Under Sahibzada Ajit Singh scholarship scheme Rs 10,000 per annum per player would be given to top ranked 1100 sportspersons covering all the eleven recognized sports disciplines. Similarly, 1100 scholarships worth Rs 5000 per annum per player would be given to junior players below the age of 16 years in the memory of Sahibzada Fateh Singh.
He said that the Punjab government has been strictly implementing the 3 percent quota for sportspersons in government jobs and 10 Category “A” posts had been created for those players who had excelled at international level thereby brought laurels for the country. International medalists namely Manavjit Sandhu, Avneet Sidhu, Ronjan Sodhi and Harveen Sarao (Shooting), Rajpal Singh, Gurbaz Singh and AmandeepKaur (Hockey) Manjit Kaur and Harwant Kaur (Athletics), Palwinder Cheema (Wrestling) has been given these jobs.Mr. Majithia said that the Medal winners of Asian and Commonwealth Games have been honoured by the State Government with disbursement of cash awards worth Rs 7.54 crore. Similarly, Rs. 1.34 crore has been given to 67 Maharaja Ranjit Singh Sports awardees.
He said that the State government has decided to organize 4th World Cup Kabaddi in the month of December besides a six nations’ hockey tournament in the mid of this year.Appreciating the efforts of Punjab Fencing Association & Punjabi University, Patiala, for successfully organizing 5th National Fencing Federation Cup for men & women, Mr. Majithia announced Rs. 3 and Rs. 2 lac grants for Punjabi University, Patiala and Punjab Fencing Association respectively. It may be mentioned here that Services and Punjab have won overall championship in 5th National Fencing Federation Cup for Men and women categories. In Men category Manipur and Jammu & Kashmir became runners up and second runners up respectively while in women category Kerala and Manipur got 2nd and 3rd positions respectively.
Later interacting with media persons, Mr. Majithia demanded that the Union government, keeping in view the huge loss of human life, property and infrastructure in Uttarakhand in recent cloud burst and floods, should declare it as a national disaster. He said that the Punjab government has mobilized its maximum resources to help the Uttarakhand government in supplementing the rescue as well as evacuation operations. Replying a query regarding non usage of state helicopter for few days, Mr. Majithia pointed out that around 100 helicopters were available for rescue operations but keeping in view the availability of limited air space and need for highly experienced teams, the Air force helicopters were given preference for evacuation process. He appreciated the unparalleled role of Indian Army and forces like ITBP and national disaster management units in whole rescue operation.
Mr. Majithia also condemned the attack on Senior IAS officer of Punjab Mr. Kahan Singh Pannu, who worked relentlessly for safe evacuation of pilgrims stranded at Gobind Ghat and Gobind Dham.Replying another query, Mr. Majithia expressed confidence that NDA was all set to make comeback with landsliding victory in coming general elections. He said that SAD-BJP would win all the 13 Lok Sabha seats of the state by registering resounding victories on their opponents.