Pune: Hockey enthusiasts from Khadki heaved a sigh of relief following the Khadki Cantonment Board (KCB)’s announcement that it would develop an AstroTurf hockey ground within six months at the Khadki Sports Complex. Khadki hockey players have to travel to the neighbouring AstroTurf ground in Pimpri.
The AstroTurf hockey ground was proposed by KCB in 2014. The Board had sent it to the District Sports Officer, Pune seeking Rs 5.31 crore as funds. The plan was submitted to the State and forwarded to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, New Delhi in 2014. But the proposal was rejected in 2015.Amol Jagtap, Chief Executive Officer of the KCB, did not specify the reason for the rejection.
He said, “It is now proposed to submit the proposal for the provision of the ground to the Defence Ministry for the funds allocated under the budgetary head of creation of capital assets.”
He added, “For the provision of AstroTurf and a bituminous sub base, the board has approved the resolution to seek Rs 3.86 crore from the Defence Ministry. The remaining Rs 1.45 crore will be provided for allied works. We expect the proposal to be approved in 3 to 4 months. We will invite bids for purchasing the AstroTurf, once we get the approval.”
“There have been several reputed hockey players from Khadki, who have represented the country even in the absence of an AstroTurf ground in Khadki.
“Players such as Josef Phillips and Baboo Nimal were a part of the Indian hockey team. Besides, Dhanraj Pillay, Vikram Pillay and Vikas Pillay have played for India. After the ground is developed, hockey enthusiasts will have their own and the nearest ground to play or practise hockey,” Jagtap added.