DB directs to file status report within six weeks

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 3/13/2019 1:58:26 PM

Construction of International Cricket Stadium

JAMMU, Mar 12 (JNF): In a PIL seeking direction to JKCA immediately start the construction of International Stadium at Bajalta Jammu soon after the release of already sanctioned amount of Rs.100.00 Crores, A Division Bench 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.
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 cognizance 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: one being the Bakshi Stadium which provides for playing football; the second is the Sheri-Kashmir Indoor Stadium which provides for some indoor games as badminton, table tennis; the third and fourth are TRC Ground and Polo Ground, where football and cricket are being played. The status in Jammu is not much better.
We are informed that there is not a single athletic track facility, swimming pools, basket-ball courts, baseball, to play carrom, chess, billiards and the other sports games in Srinagar for children to learn and play. There are no public swimming pools in the city of Srinagar. There can be no doubt at all that sports enhances the physical and mental development of all persons. The participation in sports activities helps in development of healthy bones and muscles, increases fitness, improves sleep, enables socialization, improves the cooperation skills, boosts self-confidence.
Being involved in a sport teaches valuable lessons in teamwork, most importantly, it takes away depression and reduces stress. Sports essentially facilitates development of patience, rectitude, comradeship, a new sense of togetherness and belonging. It is critical to remember that sports provides a safe and healthy platform for learning control, coping with defeat and helps building resilience. Furthermore, the following the rules of game inculcates discipline, punctuality and respect for authority. Sports thus plays a vital role in the child’s development of self-esteem and self-worth.
The importance of sports in the life of any person cannot be sufficiently emphasized. Participation in sporting activities is a building block in bringing in habits of discipline, rectitude, perseverance, commitment and most importantly developing an ability to work in teams. It provides a critical outlet for the energy possessed by young children and the youth. It enables a healthy pastime for utilization of free times. It contributes greatly to the development of the health of the participating persons and motivates not only the participants but also the onlookers towards healthy competition and inculcation of a spirit of cooperation, thrill and enjoyment. Participation in healthy sporting and gaming activity facilitates sharing of skills, differential abilities as well as creativity. It contributes to building a more sensitive, innovative, equitable, fair community and world.
Such facilities are available to the children, youth and persons of all ages and culture in every part of the country. These facilities must be made available to every child, youth and resident in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. The Government of Jammu and Kashmir has an essential responsibility to ensure that PIL No. 25/2018 Page 3 of 7 these facilities are enabled to every person who is a resident of or visits the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Government of India has taken upon itself the responsibility of developing and ensuring sports and sporting facilities to the people of India. Its commitment to the cause of sports is evident that a complete Ministry - the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has been created for the purpose. It has also set up sporting bodies which are providing sports facilities at a National level which include the Sports Authority of India. The Government of India also has formulated the National Sports Code whereby recognition is accorded to sporting bodies operating at the national level to whom Government grant is released for promotion of the sport at the national level, representation at the international forums and selection of the National Sports teams.
There are more than 50 sporting events in which sports persons compete in the Olympic Games, like, Aquatics, Athletics, Archery, Badminton, Basketball, Boxing, Cycling, Football, Golf, Gymnastics, Handball, Judo, Shooting, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Tennis, Volleyball, Weightlifting, Karate etc. Indian Sports persons competes in most of the Olympic events. Similarly, there are other multiple sporting events in which sports persons from India compete in other international competitions including the Common Wealth Games, Asian Games etc. These include inter alia, the Athletic Federation of India, Badminton Association of India, Basketball Federation of India, Billiards & Snookers Federation of India, Indian Body Builders Federation, Boxing Federation of India, All India Chess Federation, Cycling Federation of India, All India Football Federation, Swimming Federation of India, etc.
The Central Government has also ensured a budgetary allocation for the subject of sports which it is dispensing to the above sports bodies who have promoted themselves as being responsible for specific sports for all the States of the Country. 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 ought not to be PIL No. 25/2018 Page 4 of 7 required to ensure provisions of the sporting facilities in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. It is time to remind ourselves of the Constitutional mandate of Section 21 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir which reads as Rights of children The State shall strive to secure: (a) to all children the right to happy childhood with adequate medical care and attention; and (b) to all children and youth equal opportunities in education and employment, protection against exploitation, and against moral or material abandonment.”
It cannot be denied that a ‘happy child’ is best secured by enabling adequate sporting opportunities to him or her. It also cannot be denied that sports are an essential concomitant of holistic and complete education as well for healthy development. It would seem that even the State Government which was vested with the responsibility to secure to the children their right to a happy childhood has done precious little. The respondents cannot be permitted to maintain a blind eye to the hard reality that, more than for adults, a childhood and youth, spent without the freedom of playing in open spaces or participating in organized games and sports, could actually distort their development and the young minds. 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, if at all. 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.
Upon this DB directed Sr. AAG shall take instructions with regard to the proposal of the State Government for developing sports infrastructure in the 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 be also obtained by the ASGI.

 

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