The Lahore Development Authority (LDA) has decided to establish 12 new sports complexes in different areas of the city and has already initiated the process to attract contractual companies.
An official project document, available with The Express Tribune, indicated that these new facilities would be set up in 11 National Assembly constituencies of Lahore district.
It added that currently, the city has population of around 20 million and every year over 300,000 residents were being added to it. Current sports facilities in the city are insufficient to fulfil the growing needs of the residents.
As per Punjab chief minister’s directions, the authority has planned to develop state-of-the-art sports facilities for public and these facilities would be established on the pattern of the LDA Sports Complex in Johar Town.
According to the documents, the LDA has proposed construction of gymnasiums, table tennis facilities, chess and snooker halls, squash court, basketball court, two lawn tennis courts, two badminton courts and swimming pools.
All these facilities would be constructed separately for men and women. Similarly, children’s play areas, jogging tracks and green areas would be built under the project.
Inside the sports complexes, offices and administration blocks, kitchens, dining halls, walkways and parking areas would also be set up.
Apart from these 12 new sports facilities, the provincial government is paying attention to providing sports facilities and youth-related development projects ahead of the 2018 General Elections. According to the budget document, the government has earmarked over Rs8.5 billion for 116 ongoing and 133 new schemes for sports and youth affairs in the Punjab budget for Fiscal Year 2017-2018.
The government has also proposed various big projects, like a sports university, sports city, an international standard hostel and a five-star hotel at the Nishtar Sports Complex, in the provincial budget.
According to the documents, the government has allocated Rs2.51 billion for 116 ongoing schemes, including Rs32.14 million for 15 playing fields and cricket grounds in Lahore. The total cost of these 15 grounds has been estimated at Rs329 million and the government has already released over Rs296 million in FY 2016-17.
The documents indicated that the government has earmarked funds for sports infrastructure in almost every district. Out of total 133 new schemes, 38% schemes would be built in South Punjab and the remaining projects would be initiated in the central and northern parts of the province.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 13th, 2017.
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