Bhopal: Athletes protest against ‘Smart Haat’

After the sports and youth welfare department raised objection to the proposed ‘Smart haat’ in front of Tatya Tope Stadium, the athletes too have joined the fight. On Friday, the players associated with the stadium staged raising slogans against Bhopal Smart City Development Corporation Limited (BSCDCL), the agency responsible for developing the haat near the state-run stadium.

The office bearers of the Madhya Pradesh Olympic Association along with over 500 sportspersons staged demonstration raising slogans against the proposed haat. Unheeding to the instructions of the stadium officials, enraged agitating youths uprooted the poles erected by the BSCDCL for the project.

Meanwhile, the deadlock between department and BSCDCL over construction of proposed Haat near the stadium has intensified. The department officials are objecting to the coming up of the ‘Smart Haat’ in the area claiming that it would block the entrance to stadium and cause inconvenience to the players and visitors. The proposed bazaar will come up in front of the stadium on the other side of the road. A meeting of officials of the two departments held to resolve the issue ended inconclusively.

Expressing his reservation over the proposed ‘Smart Haat’, sports and youth welfare department’s director Dr SL Thaosen said, the TT Stadium, which has given players who have brought glories to nation in Common Wealth and Asian Games and even in Olympics, is facing existential crisis. BSCDLC is ignoring the TT Stadium, said the director. “I have requested the officials of Corporation to shift the proposed Smart Haat which is coming up in front of the stadium’s gate or else necessary action will be initiated,” said Thaosen.

Meanwhile, BSCDLC CEO, Sanjay Kumar said that that area is being redesigned as per Area-Based Development plan. The construction will be carried out away from the stadium premises, he assured. “Department of sports and youth welfare must not panic. Construction work always cause some inconvenience but everything will be fine once it’s completed, he added.

Retired deputy director of sports department BS Bundela said the area being barricaded for the project is causing inconvenience to players coming as it was used for parking the vehicles. The association also handed over a memorandum addressed to Governor. We have also brought the issue into the notice of the chairperson of the Madhya Pradesh Human Rights Commission, MP Child Rights Protection Commission, chief secretary and director general of police (DGP) .

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