Railways set to sell 15 sports facilities

All concerned Zonal Railway General Managers are directed to furnish the relevant documents to the Rail Land Development Authority.

ATHLETICS TRACK

REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE: The Railway Board has identified 15 sports facilities across the country for “techno-economic studies for commercial development” due to the cash crunch arising from the rising maintenance cost.   -  M. Srinath

The Railway Board has identified 15 sports facilities across the country for “techno-economic studies for commercial development” due to the cash crunch arising from the rising maintenance cost.

In a letter addressed to the Vice Chairman of Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) last month, the Railway Board confirmed entrusting 15 stadiums. All concerned Zonal Railway General Managers are directed to furnish the relevant documents to the RLDA.

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These facilities are Railway Sports Complex in BLW, Varanasi, Chennai, Kolkata, Raebareli, Maligaon in Guwahati, Kapurthala and Secunderabad; Indoor Stadium at Parel in Mumbai and Patna, Railway Stadium in Bhubaneswar, Bahala in Kolkata and Mahalaxmi in Mumbai; Cricket Stadium at Yelahanka in Bengaluru and Lucknow; Gorakhpur Stadium in Gorakhpur.

Effectively, this move will see Railways selling off these facilities to private players, thereby ending all sporting activities. Last week, the All India Railwaymen’s Federation (AIRF) wrote to the Chairman, Railway Board, protesting the move.

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In a letter dated June 3, the AIRF pointed out that these Railway Sports complexes and Stadiums/Indoor Stadiums were located in the heartland of the cities and were used by sportspersons and sports enthusiasts besides Railwaymen, both serving and retired.

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