Shillong, Jan 3: Meghalaya signed the host city contract here today to formally set the ball rolling on its hosting of the 2022 National Games.
Representatives from the state government, Meghalaya State Olympic Association and Indian Olympic Association signed the agreement at the Main Secretariat.
The host state has to pay Rs 5 crore to the IOA as the bidding amount. The Meghalaya government had earlier paid Rs 50 lakh to the IOA and today paid the remaining Rs 4.5 crore.
2022 will mark Meghalaya’s 50th birthday and India’s 75th. Only two other North East states have ever hosted the National Games – Manipur (1999) and Assam (2007).
Some of the dignitaries present at the function today were Additional Chief Secretary Peter Ingty, MSOA Working President John Kharshiing and IOA Secretary General Rajeev Mehta. Urban Affairs Minister Ronnie Lyngdoh was the chief guest.
Although Meghalaya did pull off its role as a co-host at 2016’s South Asian Games, there were only a handful of disciplines held in Shillong and their selection was partly based on the infrastructure already present in the city.
The National Games will be on an order of magnitude far greater and there have been several cases of states being unable to host the event in the scheduled year.
Speaking to the media, Mehta said that under the agreement, a schedule of work required will have to be completed by given deadlines and all requisite infrastructure will have to be ready by 2021.
“There is also a penalty clause of Rs 2 crore per year in case of delaying the Games,” he added.
The central government will provide only 30 percent of the total Games’ budget, with Meghalaya having to source the remaining 70 percent.
Meanwhile, in his speech, Kharshiing said, “The whole country is turning to the North East to tap its hidden sports talents. History will talk about a Meghalaya before the National Games and a much better Meghalaya after the National Games.”