Goa sets up National Games Secretariat

Panaji, May 27 (IANS) Goa Thursday constituted a National Games Secretariat to finalise various activities for the mega sporting event to be held in 2011, the state government said Thursday.

‘The government may co-opt or include additional members as and when the need is felt. The tenure of the Games Secretariat is for a period of three months or as the government decides,’ the statement said.

Ridden by allegations of corruption vis-a-vis creation of infrastructure and delayed by bureaucratic wrangles, the government managed to initiate the land acquisition process related to infrastructure in 2009 for the mega sports event.

While the National Games stadium and other peripheral activities were initially conceived over a spread of 14 lakh square metres in Pernem, a rural taluk 30 km from here, the land area was subsequently whittled down to nine lakh sq metres after local farmers protested that fertile land was being diverted for setting up infrastructure for the National Games.

The project was further delayed after the opposition alleged that Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Manohar alias Babu Azgaonkar was handing over land meant for the National Games to hospitality-oriented firms at throw-away prices.