As the Assam government is set to celebrate the 72nd Independence Day with gala events at the College of Veterinary Science playground at Khanapara here on Wednesday, the dilapidated condition of the playground has raised conscious people’s eye brows.
With less than 24 hours left for the mega celebration, rains that lashed the city on Sunday evening have turned the already damaged filed into a muddy puddle.
“Yesterday (Sunday) Khanapara area recorded around 128 mm of rainfall in an hour, which worsened the condition of the celebration ground. Officials of the Public Works Department have been working on preparing the field. It is a natural calamity, which we cannot prevent,” Kamrup (Metro) Deputy Commissioner Virendra Mittal told reporters on Monday.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal is scheduled to hoist the tricolour at the field to mark the celebration of the I-Day.
Altogether 34 teams of students and security forces will perform various activities including march-past as part of the celebration.
The field, which was once known as one of the finest playgrounds in the city, has been badly damaged because of allowing various non-sporting activities over the years.
The Assam Agriculture University (AAU) authorities to which the playground belongs have collected over Rs 20 lakh as rent—as informed in an RTI reply—during the last three years but have not taken any steps for its improvement.
“It is interesting that despite collecting such a huge amount, the AAU authorities have not taken any steps for improvement of the field and passing the buck to others,” a former student and sports enthusiast told Northeast Now.
At a time when Chief Minister Sonowal is trying his best to establish Guwahati as the “Sports Capital of India”, the condition of the playground has spoken a different story.