Shillong, Apr 24: Deputy Chief Minister and Nartiang MLA Sniawbhalang Dhar pledged a whopping Rs 25 crore for renovations to Jowai’s Kiang Nangbah Stadium on Saturday.

The announcement was made by Dhar, who was the chief guest at the closing ceremony of the West Jaintia District Sports Association’s golden jubilee celebrations.

He also promised Rs 10 lakh for a football tournament in memory of his late father, with Rs 5 lakh of this to be the prize money and the other half to be for the running of the tournament.

Earlier, his relative and Jowai MLA, Wailadmiki Shylla, praised the wisdom of the people of Jowai for contributing piecemeal to the purchase of the land on which the stadium – which comprises a football ground, athletics track and stands – is built. The land was purchased in blocks as and when funding was raised.

Although the turf is now of artificial grass, it is a few years old and the stands and dressing rooms desperately need a facelift. While there is an athletics track, it is of the dirt variety and should really be upgraded to a synthetic surface. There are also no floodlights at the ground.

The guest of honour at the function was the new Sports & Youth Affairs Minister, Shakliar Warjri, who said that, though his department is not able to meet everyone’s desires, it does work “body and soul” to try and achieve all that it’s capable of.

The year-long celebrations saw the WJDSA organise various football tournaments, a half marathon, as well as basketball, badminton and traditional archery tournaments.

Saturday also saw the association honour successful athletes of West Jaintia Hills at last year’s Meghalaya Games and North East Olympic Games, referees, coaches, veteran members and the families of members who have passed away.

(West Jaintia District Sports Association photo)

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