More sports infrastructure to be built in Maharashtra: Shelar

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Shelar, who became a minister last month, said the BJP -led government wants to promote all kinds of sports and not just any one discipline. File Photo: PTI

The Maharashtra government is serious about creating sports infrastructure across the state and has allocated a heavy sum for it, Sports Minister Ashish Shelar said Monday.

Shelar, who became a minister last month, said the BJP -led government wants to promote all kinds of sports and not just any one discipline.

“When I became the sports minister – this is the first time in the state of Maharashtra – we have decided, allocated and approved that in the coming three years we want to spend none (not) less than Rs 3,000 crore in Maharashtra for creating infrastructure for sports,” he said here.

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The minister, a former President of the Mumbai Cricket Association, was addressing the students of the ‘International Institute of Sports Management’, founded by ex-India spinner Nilesh Kulkarni.

Later, throwing more light, Shelar said the state government wants to develop infrastructure in a professional way.

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“The state wants to prepare a kind of infrastructure throughout the state for all kinds of sports – not only one sport – and apart from that, a recreation facility for the respective tehsils, district and all that level.”

“So, the state’s plan will go step-wise. We wanted (want) that it should be created at the national and international level. The government is serious to see that it can be done very professionally,” he added.

Shelar said the state government will design a programme through which facilities like the Balewadi Sports Complex in Pune can be put to more use.

Meanwhile, he assured all assistance to ace state shooter Rahi Sarnobat, who has secured a place in her event — women’s 25m pistol — for the country at next year’s Tokyo Olympics.

“I think whatever the state government has committed for (as grant to Rahi), the state government will wholeheartedly fulfil that,” the minister noted.

Asked about Rahi’s concerns of not getting paid by the state government of which she is an employee, Shelar said, “I think not a single sportsperson should face such type of situation.

“And a sportsperson like Rahi too should not face such a situation. I will seek detailed information and take a decision. I will speak to the Chief Minister (Devendra Fadnavis in this regard),” he said.

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