Rs7b worth of sports complexes on backburner in Lahore

Published: July 1, 2019
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PHOTO: FILE

PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE: Lahore Development Authority (LDA) has failed to complete even the grey structures of 11 sports complexes being constructed in different areas of the provincial capital over the last two years.

During the term of the previous provincial government, the authority announced in 2017 to build these sports complexes, one in each constituency of the National Assembly. The project was aimed to provide better sports facilities to the masses and for the promotion of a healthy and active lifestyle. However, authorities failed to actively execute the project due to the change in government and scarcity of resources.

LDA Director General Muhammad Usman Mouzam, on Sunday, visited the sites of two of these under construction sports complexes in Sabzazar and EME Society to inspect development works. LDA Chief Engineer Mazhar Hussain Khan, Director Buildings Mirza Inam and Director EME Abdul Razaq briefed Mouzam about the ongoing development activities of these Rs7 billion sports complexes.

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They highlighted that 70% of the grey structure of these sports complexes has been completed. They indicated that 98% civil structure of the Islamia Ground Sports Complex near Civil Secretariat; 98% of the Minar-e-Pakistan Sports Complex; 93% of the Sabzazar Sports Complex; 82% of the China Scheme Sports Complex; 75% of the Taj Pura Scheme Sports Complex; 80% of the EME Society Sports Complex; 60% of the Shahdara Sports Complex; 60% of the Gurumangat Sports Complex; 20% of thee Kahna Sports Complex; 55% of the Singh Pura Sports Complex has been completed. Also, just 35% of the civil structure of the Shalimar Sports Complex was completed.

It was highlighted that the authority had also initiated the process for procuring exercise equipment and requisite machinery. Right now, prequalification of vendors was underway for this purpose. LDA DG directed officials concerned to complete these sports facilities at the earliest without compromising on construction quality.

The official project proposal indicates that provincial capital has a population of around 20 million and every year, over 300,000 residents are being added to it. Current sports facilities in Lahore districts are insufficient to fulfill the growing needs. The project was initially announced in June 2017 and started the enlistment of contractors. The authority aimed to complete the development of these sports complexes by the first quarter of 2018; however, these are not near completion yet.

Former Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who directed the authority to develop new sports facilities, wanted to complete these facilities before general elections. However, the changing political scenario and later change of government put this public interest project on the backburner. He directed the authority to build new state-of-the-art sports facilities on the pattern of the LDA Sports Complex in Johar Town.

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Project features various sports facilities, including separate gymnasiums for ladies and gents; separate table tennis courts for ladies and gents; chess and snooker halls; squash courts; basketball courts; two lawn tennis courts; two badminton courts; separate swimming pools for ladies and gents; children play areas; jogging tack; and green areas with a water feature monument. These sports facilities would also have offices and administration blocks, a kitchen and dining hall; parking areas and walkways.

In the provincial budget of the last year of its term, the previous government also proposed establishment of sports university, sports city, an international standard hostel and a five-star hotel in the Nishtar Sports Complex. It allocated Rs2.51 billion for 116 ongoing schemes, including Rs32.14 million for 15 playing fields and cricket grounds in Lahore. The total cost of these 15 grounds had been estimated a total of Rs329 million. However, hardly any of these projects materialised.

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