PESHAWAR: The recently imposed entrance fee for Qayyum Sports Complex by the K-P Directorate of Sports has been criticised by residents who say the move is a hurdle in access to recreational activities. The directorate has started charging Rs1,700 for registration and Rs500 per month from everyone for any activity, even walking. However, the sports director says the Rs500 fee is to make a registration card.
Talking to The Express Tribune on Wednesday, city resident Amjad Hussain criticised the decision of the sports directorate, saying the imposition of fees will shut the door of stadium to young people and other locals. He added since the country was going through a tense period, stadiums and parks became the only places where people could unwind. “But the government is closing them [to us] and depriving people.”
Hussain slammed the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led government for claiming to provide a clean and green environment for the people while making the stadium inaccessible to the public at large. The government should take immediate notice of the entry fee, Hussain said.
According to another local, Azaz Ahmad, mostly students visited the stadium to play sports as there was no other place for recreation in Saddar or adjacent areas. Ahmad added most people cannot afford the registration and monthly fee. He also criticised the behaviour of the stadium staff, saying they are very rude to visitors. Ahmad suggested that instead of charging fees, the government should designate a stipend for young people to encourage them to take part in sports instead of getting into trouble.
When contacted, K-P Sports Director Tariq Mehmood said they have only asked for Rs500 per person to make an entry card. He said they took the decision after receiving several complaints from people who said suspicious people were entering the stadium.
Mehmood added the department also received complaints of theft from both visitors and players. Therefore, he said, they decided to fix a fee to improve security so not everyone could enter the stadium.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 7th, 2016.
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