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Shillong, Jan 30:

Sports and Youth Affairs Minister, Banteidor Lyngdoh said that the State Government is determined to host the National Games in 2022 since it coincides with the 50 years celebrations of Meghalaya statehood.

“We are committed to ensure that the timeline is met on the development of the various infrastructure required for the games,” Lyngdoh said while talking to reporters after his meeting with the three members 1st Games Technical Conduct Committee  (GTCC) for the 39th National Games led by its chairman, R.K. Sacheti.

Replying to a question on the observation of the committee that the Meghalaya Government would not be able to meet the timeline to host the mega sports event if it does not start the work within June this year, he said that the Government is exploring on many options to ensure that the timeline is met.

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“We are keeping a target to proceed ahead with the work on some of the projects by this coming March or April. We understand that the Government will face an uphill task to meet the timeline if the work does not commence by June,” he said.

According to Sports and Youth Affairs Minister, the tendering process on some of the projects has already been floated adding that the Government is targeting to complete the tendering process on all the projects for the National Games by February.

Informing that the State Government has managed to mobilize around Rs 450 crore from the various Ministries for development of the required infrastructure for the games, he said that the total expenditure will not touch even Rs 1000 crore since many of the existing infrastructure would also be utilized for the games.

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Informing that they are planning to host the National Games in October-November, 2022, he said that there will be around 25 disciplines to be held in Shillong and another 12 disciplines will be held in Tura.

“We are keeping a target to complete everything by June, 2022. But we might managed to complete the construction of the various infrastructure by the end of 2021,” Lyngdoh said.

Earlier, Sancheti said that the State Government is fully prepared to host the games. “We still have another two and half year time. We can still host the games in 2022 if the construction work starts in June. If they delayed the June timeline then it will be difficult,” GTCC chairman said.

The Government would need some kind of magic to be able to put in place such a massive infrastructure for the games. Reacting to this, he said that there is no such thing as miracle adding that the games will be held if the Government has the will power to do it.

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“The tender and bidding documents for the development of the sports infrastructure for the national games is already out. The Government is awaiting for the Union Cabinet approval on the stadium to be funded by the Ministry of Social Justice. The tender would be floated as soon as it gets the Union Cabinet approval,” he said. According to him, the sports village and the stadium which the State Government has proposed are feasible.

To a report that the Indian Olympic Association has postponed the 39 National Games to be held in Meghalaya to 2023, he said that slot given to Meghalaya to host the National Games is 2022.

.Reacting to a question on the inability of the Meghalaya Government to complete projects on time, GTCC chairman said that the committee is not here to comment on the track record. “We believe what is shown in their paper work,” he said, adding, “We will be submitting the report to the IOA about our visit in due course of time,” Sacheti said

It may be mentioned that the committee today visited the sites at Umsawli for construction of the main stadium and also the JN Sports Complex.

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