In a bid to promote sports in Jammu and Kashmir, Lieutenant Governor, Girish Chandra Murmu inaugurated the renovated Maulana Azad Cricket Stadium in Jammu on Wednesday.
During the inauguration ceremony of the stadium, the Lt. Governor of the valley also tried his hand at playing cricket. Responding to Republic TV's question during the event, Murmu said, "I am not a cricketer". Trying his luck with the bat, Murmu had a perfect block while another ball was a miss.
Murmu expressed delight to inaugurate the renovated Maulana Azad Stadium that has been upgraded under the Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP). The PMDP remains to be a priority of the present Government. "When the Development Package was prepared, I was fortunate enough to be a part of it," he said, adding that, around Rs. 40 crores have been spent out of the Rs 200 crore earmarked for sports infrastructure. The Lt. Governor stated that the remaining amount would be spent on developing sports facilities all over the Union Territory. Apart from cricket, other sports like football, Hockey, Volleyball, and Athletics, etc required attention and various projects were going on to develop facilities for the sports earlier played in the said stadium, he added.
Terming this as a historic occasion, the Lt. Governor said that the need for an International Standard cricket stadium was fulfilled today for further grooming the talent of the youth and giving them exposure as per international requirements.
Adding further the Governor spoke of how people of Jammu & Kashmir have immense love for sports and how the present Government is making headways in developing sports in the Union Territory with various sports development projects being underway and many more being in the pipeline. He said that several Outdoor and Indoor sports are being played in and around the M.A. Stadium and this facility has become a sporting hub for the youth, and sports-loving people of Jammu, with all the modern sports equipment available.
The government is resolute to develop sports and allied infrastructure and promotion of sports at the grass-root level and for this, the land is being identified at the Panchayat level, the Lt Governor maintained.
Murmu stated that sports is a vital requirement for the holistic development of the youth, fostering their physical, social, and emotional health and imbibing qualities like leadership, teamwork, fair play, and discipline which one needs to achieve higher goals. It is an encouraging sign for Jammu and Kashmir that our youth have brought laurels to the UT at various national and international events, he added.
The Lt Governor emphasised the high importance of cooperation and participation of the people to lead the Union Territory of J&K marching ahead rapidly on the path of the development. The Government is committed to fulfilling the developmental aspirations of the people and Youth, in particular, to channelize the young energies in Nation Building, he added.
He expressed hope that the youth, sportspersons, and sports lovers gathered on this historic occasion would carry forward the spirit of universal harmony and brotherhood, and that the facility would contribute immensely to the physical and social well being of the younger generation.
Meanwhile, the Lt Governor also spoke on the prevailing situation in the Union Territory and while addressing the media persons, he informed that the Government is taking a regular assessment of the current situation and the internet restrictions would be lifted in a phased manner after assessing the situation on regular basis.