Thursday, June 10, 2010

After Games Corporates to manage stadias

In a bid to maximize use of sports complexes such as the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and National Stadium after the Commonwealth Games (CWG) and to raise money for their maintenance, the government has decided to rope in private partners under a process it calls “legacy planning”. Under the programme, the ownership remains with the government but each stadium will be handed over to a private sector entity after the Games, which can then reap commercial benefits from sporting and non-sporting use of the facilities.

Sports Authority of India (SAI) has taken the responsibility of managing and operating five major stadia JN Stadium, National Stadium, Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium complex, Shyama Prasad swimming pool complex and Dr Karni Singh shooting ranges under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) scheme.

The government has already spent more than Rs 2,400 crore in upgrade and renovation of these complexes. To ensure the facilities are not misused, SAI has issued a “negative list” which prohibits use of the stadia for certain activities.

An ‘‘empowered committee” headed by the sports secretary and SAI directorgeneral is overseeing the project.

Passing the Baton

PPP model for upkeep of JN Stadium, National Stadium, Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium, Dr Karni Singh shooting ranges & Shyama Prasad swimming pool
Govt to retain ownership but pvt entities to earn money from using stadia for sporting, non-sporting events

Tenders out to select partners, SAI talking to interested corporates ‘PPP scheme to ensure self-sustainability’

The government has decided to rope in private partners to maintain five major stadia after the Commonwealth Games. ‘‘This scheme is being planned as per the department of economic affairs guidelines,” joint secretary (sports) and special officer for CWG, Praveer Krishn, told TOI on Tuesday.

“The keystones of the PPP programme are that it will encourage community participation in sporting activities... It will also ensure self-sustainability of each facility so as to provide a model for development for future sports infrastructure in the country,’’ Krishn said, adding, ‘‘It will also ensure world-class maintenance of each facility so that the investment already made does not go down the drain.’’

Krishn said the tendering process to identify private entities had begun and SAI was in touch with interested parties.

The programme assumes significance since preserving sports infrastructure has always remained a huge challenge in the country. A case in point is the 1982 Asian Games in New Delhi after which the facilities built for the event deteriorated in the absence of proper planning.

SAI is hoping that corporates come forward for the upkeep of the stadia, scattered across the capital’s prime locations. “We would like to ensure that any money invested by the private sector in the upkeep of the facility will be recovered through creative use of the facilities and the surrounding open areas, with the development of clubs and sports retail hubs being realistic options,” Krishn said.