CAG slams Maha for poor sports infrastructure

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has slammed the Maharashtra government for its "inability" to create adequate infrastructure for sports despite incurringa huge expenditure of Rs 576 crore, which it said adversely affected the performance of sports persons.

As per the CAG report on the general and social sector tabled in the state legislature today, a performance auditof the management of sports infrastructureduring 2012-17 revealed that even though the Sports Policywas formulated in 2012 it was yet to be translated in action.

Stating that no long-term plan was prepared for implementation of the policy, the report underlined delays in execution of schemesdue to non-acquisition of land, change in design and scope of work, and short or late release of funds.

The report blamed the absence of qualified and capable coaches, focussed training, and an inadequate release of funds for the poor performance of the state in sports.

The document also reviewedthe expenditureincurred for constructing sportscomplexes, developing playgrounds and gymnasia, sports academies, coaching centres and camps in different parts of the state.

"Even after incurring huge expenditure of Rs 576 crore, the sports department was unable to create adequate sports infrastructure and maintain it properly. It was also unable to create coachingfacilities for sportspersons thereby compromising on their performance," the report said.

Referring to the annual fund of Rs 50 lakh earmarked by the government for wrestling and volleyball in selected divisions under Sports Policy 2012 and subsequent Government Resolutions (GRs), the report said the government failed to organisemini-Olympicgames at state-level and also failed to set up talimkushtikendras (training centres for wrestling) at taluka level.

The report underlined lack of initiatives and comprehensive planning in creating sports complexes at divisional, district and talukalevels.

The work on remainingsports complexes could either not commencefor want of land or was lying incomplete due to financialcrunch, as per the report.

"The fund flow was erratic and was found not in consonancewith the intended objectives of the SportsPolicy. The share of Sports department in the total budget outlay for the state was only between 0.44 per cent and 057 per cent," it stated.

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