Shillong, Mar 9: The Sports & Youth Affairs Department has been allocated Rs 208 crore for the 2022-23 financial year, up 13% on 2021-22.

This was announced by Chief Minister Conrad Sangma in his presentation of the state budget in the Assembly today.

Sports projects currently underway include the renovation of the JN Stadium in Shillong (at Rs 40 crore) and construction of the new PA Sangma Integrated Sports Complex in Tura (Rs 128 crore) which will be completed by December.

The construction of a new and bigger indoor stadium (Rs 97 crore) next door to the JN Stadium will begin in 2022-23. The facility will be able to hold 12 badminton courts, an indoor shooting range, a jogging track and an amphitheatre outside.

Additionally, the CM said that 150 grassroots sporting infrastructure projects have been taken up over the past two years at a cost of Rs 45 crore and another Rs 40 crore will be allocated in 2022-23 to complete these.

With the easing of the Covid-19 pandemic, the government will restart its ‘Mission Football’ and activate grassroots centres across the state. A program for talent identification at the grassroots using “state-of-the art testing methods” will be launched in collaboration with the Meghalaya State Olympic Association.

He also said that the Meghalaya Games will be held in May and it will be a biennial event from now on. As part of the state’s golden jubilee, Meghalaya will also host the second edition of the North East Olympics.

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