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Photo: Akhilesh Pandey
DDA’s claims of football promotion not consistent with bad ground conditions

Posted: May 22, 2018     By Akhilesh Pandey

The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has launched its Twitter handle and the earlier tweets included claims of promoting the game of football in the city. When there is no doubt that DDA would have attempted to promote the game but many football infrastructures have also been ignored by the authority.

When we look at mini football grounds, the grounds under Yuva Scheme and the temporary playgrounds with football goal posts, it can be confirmed that DDA has been a failure in taking care of these places barring few sports complexes and grounds at posh localities.

In its official tweet, DDA said that they have been promoting the game of football under its scheme and every year 75 prospects are trained since 2002.

But the story is very different from what has been claimed. There are many talents who are just leaving the game because of lack of facilities in Delhi. Young boys can be seen playing football in the neighbourhood parks as the necessary infrastructures are in pathetic state.

Those infrastructures are showing how serious the DDA is in its promotion of football at the grass-root level as claimed in the tweet. Once developed for the promotion of football in the community at the grass-root level, many mini football grounds are lacking the attention of DDA.

Most of the grounds have been abandoned and in very bad shape. These grounds are completely ignored by the authority as they are surrounded by forest and wild bushes. Access paths to the grounds are also lacking.

One of such grounds is located at Sector-8 which has been thoroughly neglected since its development in 2010. The other grounds like at Keshopur, Vikaspuri, Pratap Nagar etc are also a victim of DDA’s apathy.

According to the sources, security guards were deployed at these grounds between 2010 and 2014. A board with rules of the ground written on it was also there. Till 2015, the grounds were operational. But, now the ground is not accessible and it is closed by DDA with a boundary wall.

A mini football ground at Vikaspuri has been used by the passionate football players of “My Angels Football Club.” Children from a slum at Vikaspuri play at this ground.

Founder of My Angels Football Club, Sylvester Peter, said to City Spidey, “After continuous follow-ups with the DDA officials, the condition at the ground has been improved. I want to say that these infrastructures should be automatically maintained by DDA.”

The DDA’s claims can also be refuted by looking at the condition of a ground in Sector-8 of Dwarka. As there was no access path to the ground, the young football enthusiasts have themselves made the path as they play the game there.

There are playgrounds which were once developed under the “Yuva Scheme” to motivate young players to take up the game. But, this has also become a major failure as the grounds have been completely closed and left abandoned.

Looking at the condition of one of such grounds at Sector-9, it can be said that nothing was done to promote the game. The damaged goal posts and rusted iron fencing of the ground are showing the callous approach of the authorities.

“If the ground was operational, children could play football. But this is unfortunate that children are forced to play football in the parks,” said Ashish Dasgupta, a passionate football player from Sector-9. According to sources, DDA had developed a total of eleven playgrounds all across Delhi and handed over them to Delhi Police for “Yuva Scheme.”

TAGS: Delhi Development Authority / DDA tweet on football promotion / Football grounds in Delhi / Infrastructure for football in Delhi / Delhi news

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