Student Media Body of IIT Kgp


The Synthetic Track Fiasco
Posted on August 08, 2017
Written by- Anonymous, 5th year student

As a member of the KGP fraternity who is very enthusiastic about sports, I think that the underwhelming support from Technology Students' Gymkhana regarding the enhancement of sports facilities might not be sufficient to construct the much awaited synthetic track in IIT Kharagpur's historic Jnan Ghosh stadium within the scheduled time. The efforts being put by the respective stakeholders seem to be falling short by a long distance. Given that the time left for preparation for the next Inter IIT Sports Meet is not very long, the ongoing delay is definitely painful and disappointing for all the athletes who are willing to put their blood and sweat for preparations.The eyes of the athletes are lit up with the prospects of getting a medal and hence, bringing laurels to the institution. But such a not-so- encouraging gesture surely dampens their spirit. Many reasons can be pointed for the same, but the bigger picture that can be seen here is somewhat unusual.

Jnan ghosh stadium

Now that it has been a trend that heavy rain greets the starting of winter semester, the synthetic track promised to be the solution for all the monsoon generated problems hampering the Inter IIT training. This facility will not only make sure that the continuous fitness training of all the other sports' sportspersons affected by rain will go on without any problem but also let the athletes use this crucial period of time in the autumn semester to the fullest. If done, IIT KGP will be the 2nd IIT to have its own synthetic track after IIT Madras which will enhance the level of sports in the campus. Besides, since the 52nd inter IIT sports meet is being conducted in IIT M, the track will give us an edge over other IITs who don't own a synthetic track. The proposal for this track was first made by the then Secretary of Athletics, Mr. Parveen Lather and Mr. Pranab Kr. Sarkar, the current PTI and Athletics In-charge. The proposal was straightaway rejected in the first attempt. Again, in the year of 2015, another draft was prepared on the same lines that clearly mentioned the advantages of synthetic track over grass/mud track (current surface). The draft was good enough to persuade the higher authorities and they gave this proposal a much awaited required green signal to the delight of sports enthusiast of campus. By the start of autumn semester of 2016, the proposal was ready to be worked upon by outside experts and the outlining of the project had started. It was believed and proclaimed by the Institute that the track will be constructed by the end of the year 2016. But repeated obstructions and inefficient handling resulted into subsequent delays. The project was rescheduled to be completed by spring 2017, but it had not even started by the beginning of 2017. The conduction of Spring Fest further pushed forward the project's timeline. At the present moment, the contractor has not been appointed through tender basis. More than a year has passed already and no one seems willing to take the responsibility of this delay and the mess created by the same. With the present scenario making the Government of India to cut down the funds to old IITs and divert them to the development of new IITs, this project is definitely going to face more obstacles than ever. The delays will continue and if finally everything falls in place, the construction might get completed before 54 th Inter IIT Sports Meet that is going to be held in IIT KGP in 2019.

In this entire fiasco, nobody is taking the responsibility and everybody considers the entire setup to be responsible for this. Students are unaware and those who are aware are helpless. With the ongoing procedures and level of enthusiasm amongst the competent authorities that is being shown to construct the synthetic track, it definitely seems that the track is scheduled for a 2019 inauguration which is a great delay considering it was actually scheduled for 2016-17 opening. There seems to be a perpetual cycle, beginning from the basics of the project and returning to the basics again, after passing through many other hurdles in between. This can be substantiated by the current hurdle in the project, viz. the level of ground being lower than surrounding area, resulting into problems in drainage facilities. Previously, the confusion in making a small store room, purposefully added to the delays, extending it by 4 months. The change in the tax rates due to incorporation of GST may further add to the comedy of errors that is going on for over a year.

Surely, organizing a grand Inter IIT Sports Meet is a dream for the Institute, but at what cost? The delays point to the lack of will of the authorities to improve the sports facilities at this current juncture and the attempts to sabotage the ongoing projects; all this so that 2019 will be the year to inaugurate the new sports facilities. With the performance of the athletes at stake, a question is inevitable at this juncture - Are the better facilities in the campus being constructed for the sake of better performance of the athletes or better conduction of the 54th Inter IIT Sports Meet in KGP? There is no doubt that both are beneficial for us, but definitely priorities matter more in any case. And now that KGPians have performed brilliantly in sports fests and meets including the recent one in 67th West Bengal State Annual Athletics Meet, let me be frank and say, "IIT Kharagpur needs the synthetic track more now than ever! "

Disclaimer: Article under "Your Perspective" is the perspective of the writer on the prevailing issues and the incidents. Awaaz, IIT Kharagpur has no take on this.

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