The long felt need of the shooting fraternity was addressed efficiently with the inauguration of the 162-bed hostel facility at the Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range, Tughlakabad, by the Union Sports Minister, Kiren Rijiju, on Thursday.

A scheme that was neglected when the range was renovated at a huge cost for the Commonwealth Games in 2010, the air-conditioned hostel was readied at a cost of Rs.12.26 crore by the Sports Authority of India (SAI).

"Shooting is one of the premier sports at the moment. It is a priority for us, to take all necessary steps for the shooters. We have huge expectations from shooting and we have a huge reservoir of talent at the grassroot level. Our athletes represent the country in the Olympics, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games. They must have a standard of living where we provide the basic facilities’’, said the Sports Minister.

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In fact, the minister emphasised that the standard of accommodation and food should be a minimum of three-star standard in such hostels.

The shooters, assembling for the national camps, national and international competitions have invariably been staying in hotels, spending precious time commuting in the heavy traffic of Delhi. They will now be walking to their respective ranges of rifle, pistol and shotgun from their rooms.

The facility will be open for use not only for the core group of shooters, but also for the other development shooters and those coming through the Khelo India scheme.

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The shooters generally have been restricting training one session in the morning, as it is virtually impossible to make two visits to the range.

"Now we can train in the morning and afternoon, thanks to the hostel’’, said the Commonwealth Games gold medallist Anish Bhanwala.