The state government talks of strengthening sports infrastructure in higher educational institutions, but majority of Government Degree Colleges (GDCs) in the Jammu division, which are already grappling with poor infrastructure and manpower shortage, lack playgrounds for hosting sports competitions.
Sources claimed that it was not only the GDCs established in far-flung districts which lack playgrounds, but also the colleges in the winter capital and on its outskirts are facing the similar problem.
There are a total of 46 GDCs in the Jammu division — 13 in Jammu, seven in Kathua, six in Rajouri, four in Doda, three each in Udhampur, Poonch, Reasi, Ramban and Kishtwar and one in Samba district.
The sources said due to non-availability of grounds in colleges, the inter-collegiate competitions in multi-disciplines, which were an annual feature of the Directorate of Sports and Physical Education, University of Jammu, were not being allotted to the colleges.
They added that a few colleges like GGM Science College, Canal Road, Jammu, Government College for Women (GCW), Gandhi Nagar, etc, had grounds available, but were not in a good condition to conduct tournaments.
“This is a real cause of concern as the government spends too much on infrastructure development but there is no focus on creation of grounds in the colleges, which becomes just concrete buildings. Unlike other states, where major thrust is given on strengthening sports infrastructure at the college level by creating big grounds for competitions, the state government lacks this kind of vision,” a sports official claimed.
“What to talk of creating playgrounds, as many as 19 colleges in the Jammu division do not have their own building and are running from makeshift accommodations. A playground is the basic requirement for any educational institution but unfortunately our colleges are deprived of it,” the official maintained.
The sources claimed that the three degree colleges in Udhampur district also lacked playgrounds. Same was the case with colleges in other far-flung districts like Doda, Kishtwar, Ramban, Rajouri, Poonch, etc.
“As far as conducting of sports competition is concerned, we do not have ample space in the ground available on the college premises,” Dr Ramesh Chander, Principal, Government MAM College, said. “Under the recent Centre-sponsored scheme Khelo India, there is a proposal to construct a playfield on the college premises,” he added.
Dr Kiran Bakshi, Principal, Government College for Women (GCW), Gandhi Nagar, said, “We have a ground available on the college premises which sometimes is utilised for hosting competitions. In fact, last year I submitted a proposal to construct a multi-purpose sports complex so that girls from all districts of the Jammu province can participate in games/sports at different levels.”