Vijayawada to house SAAP headquarters

Vijayawada to house SAAP headquarters

Vijayawada to house SAAP headquarters. Vijayawada is all set to live up to its name of `City of Victory’ as the Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh...

Vijayawada is all set to live up to its name of `City of Victory’ as the Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh (SAAP) is planning to locate its head office on the premises of Indira Gandhi Municipal Corporation (IGMC) Stadium in the city.

A view of the Krishna District Sports Authority office at Indira Gandhi Municipal Corporation (IGMC) Stadium in Vijayawada

Many people’s representatives, sports associations, officials and sports stars are in favour of locating the SAAP head office in Vijayawada because it is centrally located in the State and well connected by rail, road and air to all the major places in the country. They are of the view that if the SAAP head office is located in Vijayawada it will give a big boost to sports in AP.

Though the IGMC Stadium seems to be the first choice for location of the SAAP headquarters, Brahmananda Reddy (BR) Stadium in Guntur, one of the oldest stadiums in the State, is also in the race to house the coveted office. Several politicians, sports associations and sportspersons are lobbying hard to get the SAAP headquarters located in Guntur. Their contention is BR Stadium has all the necessary infrastructure to house the SAAP office.

It has a 400 metre athletics track, a cricket field, a skating rink, indoor badminton courts, a gymnasium, a hockey ground and a tennis court complex, besides other sports infrastructure. Its only drawback is lack of proper underground drainage system making it vulnerable to inundation when it rains heavily. This drawback may mar the chances of BR Stadium becoming the SAAP headquarters.

Speaking to The Hans India, District Sports Development Officer (DSDO) P Ramakrishna said, ``At present, SAAP is functioning from Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium in Hyderabad. The office of Sports Authority of Telangana (SAT) is also located on the same premises. SAAP Chairman PR Mohan has come up with an idea of locating the Sports Authority headquarters at the IGMC Stadium.

As many as 14 sports associations in AP, including Archery, Badminton, Baseball, Cycling, Judo, Cycle Polo, Arm Wrestling, Netball, Table Tennis, Atya-Patya, Cricket, Athletics, Kho-Kho and Throwball, are functioning by making the IGMC Stadium as their headquarters.’’

The IGMC Stadium run by the Krishna District Sports Authority falls in the jurisdiction of Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC). A proposal was already submitted to Mayor Koneru Sridhar seeking his approval to set up the SAAP headquarters at the IGMC Stadium.

The Mayor replied that he could not take a decision on his own in this regard as the matter should be discussed in the VMC council meeting. ``We are hopeful of getting a favourable decision from the VMC council for location of SAAP headquarters at the IGMC Stadium,'' the DSDO said.

On development of the IGMC Stadium to host major national and international tournaments, Ramakrishna said, ``We proposed to lay a synthetic athletics track in the ground. A team of officials from the Centre visited the IGMC Stadium to study the proposals made for its development.

The proposals are likely to materialise soon. As Vijayawada is fast emerging as a metropolis of AP, an international stadium on par with the one at Gachibowli in Hyderabad will come up in 7.91 acres of land at Vidyadharapuram at an estimated cost of Rs 6 crore in near future.’’

By Sistla Dakshina Murthy

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