The Union sports ministry has decided to allot a fund of Rs 5 crore for advanced equipment at the National Centre of Excellence (NCOE), Aurangabad, Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju said here on Thursday.
The minister made the announcement after inaugurating the synthetic turf hockey ground and stainless-steel swimming pool in NCOE (Sports Authority of India) centre of Aurangabad.
"The Central government has allotted NCOEs in various parts of the country, but not all states have received such centres. Maharashtra is the only state to have such centres in three cities -- Mumbai, Aurangabad and Nagpur. The seven disciplines of sports will be focussed in this centre," Rijiju said at the inauguration function.
"I have sanctioned Rs 5 crore for the purchase of advanced equipment for the seven disciplines. The centre will work for creating talent for 2024 and 2028 Olympics taking place in Paris and Los Angeles respectively," the Union minister said.
Meanwhile, MP Imtiaz Jaleel has demanded facilities for sports.
"The Centre should start diploma for sports on the background of NIS Patiala. It also needs new equipment," Jaleel said and demanded synthetic turf for athletics.
Rajya Sabha member Bhagwat Karad said the sports ministry should sanction the sub-centre of sports university of Manipur.
"Gymnastics is a popular game here and it needs equipment along with safety apparatus," he said.
Replying to the members, Rijiju said, "We have started gymnastics centre which was almost closed. The government will favourably work out the demands of NIS diploma and Athletic track. I will also try to help Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University with aid from Khelo India scheme."
According to Rijiju, though India has a deep-rooted tradition of sports, the country couldn't make it a way of life.
"We are planning to create players for the 2024 and 2028 Olympic games. We are planning to bring India in the top ten of the medal tallies. I think at least ten players in this should be from Maharashtra," he said.
Among others, NCOE Aurangabad director Virendra Bhandarkar, former minister Atul Save, MLC Ambadas Danve, Joint secretary of Maharashtra Athletics association Pankaj Bharsakhle, Maharashtra Amateur Gymnastics Association secretary Dr Makrand Joshi were present on the occasion.