STATE TIMES NEWS JAMMU: A Division Bench (DB) of State High Court comprising Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur and Justice Sindhu Sharma directed respondents to file status report as per earlier order within six weeks. The court direction came in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed for seeking direction to JKCA for immediately starting the construction of International Cricket Stadium at Bajalta, Jammu soon after the release of already sanctioned amount of Rs.100 crore. According to the earlier direction, Division Bench observed that there is no reason as to why the Central and the State Governments are not enhancing the availability of the facilities for sports other than the Cricket in the State. In this regard this Court has taken suo moto cognisance of the matter with regard to sports infrastructure which has been registered as PIL No. 25/2018 and the following order has been recorded that during the consideration of PIL No. 09/2017 relating to insufficiency of parks and open spaces in Srinagar, yet another issue regarding deficiency of sports facilities in the State of Jammu and Kashmir has come to the fore. “In fact, most of the sports in which India is competing at the international level are completely absent from the State. It is common knowledge that even in Srinagar, there are barely three to four stadiums and the status in Jammu is not much better”, the court had observed adding that such facilities are available to the children, youth and persons of all ages and culture in every part of the country, and the same must also be made available in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. “The Government of Jammu and Kashmir has an essential responsibility to ensure that facilities mentioned in page 3 to page 7 in PIL No. 25/2018 should be made available to every person who is a resident of or visits the State of Jammu and Kashmir”, the court had observed. “The Government of India has created a complete ministry for sports besides different bodies ensuring dedicated budget to promote and provide sporting facilities in the country to enable sports persons to compete and excel at national and international levels. There is no reason at all as to why the Government of India as well as the Government of Jammu and Kashmir and the sports bodies deny to ensure provisions of the sporting facilities in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. To us, it is a shocking state of affairs that even a valuable water body as the Dal Lake which is available for developing and encouraging water sports is so grossly underutilized. Given the extreme lack of sporting facilities in the entire State of Jammu and Kashmir, we are compelled to take up this issue in the writ petition so as to ensure mandate of the Constitution of India as well as the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir. Let this matter be registered as a Public Interest Litigation”, the court had observed. Earlier today, the DB directed Senior Additional Advocate General shall take instructions with regard to the proposal of the State Government for developing sports infrastructure in Jammu Province. DB further directed that a report in this regard shall also be placed before us on the next date of hearing. “Let views of the Central government should also be obtained by the ASGI”, the DB added.
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