Shillong : The State Government has handed over the bid documents to the Meghalaya State Olympic Association (MSOA) to begin the bidding process for hosting the National Games 2022 at a brief function held here today at the State Convention Centre.
The function to drum up all support and efforts to bid for the Games was attended by Chief Minister Dr. Mukul Sangma as the chief guest in the presence of the Leader of Opposition Dr. Donkupar Roy, Deputy Chief Minister Rowell Lyngdoh, Sports & Youth Affairs Minister Zenith Sangma, former Union Minister of State and MP, Vincent Pala, Parliamentary Secretaries, KHADC MDCs, members of MSOA, senior officials, sports associations and heads of institutions, besides the officials of Sports & Youth Affairs department.
Besides the bid documents, the Chief Minister on behalf of the State Government also handed over a cheque of Rs. 50 lakh and letters of support from both the State Government and Leader of Opposition were given to the MSOA for placing the bid.
In his address, the Chief Minister said that the meeting was to carry forward the mission of the State to host the National Games 2022 as it would be a befitting tribute to the State and the people to mark the 50th year of Statehood and appealed to all the people of the State to come together to achieve the shared objective with utmost seriousness and a sense of ownership. Conceding that there would be challenges on the way, the foremost being to mop up resources within the next five years, he however expressed his optimism that if it is accepted by all as collective endeavour the State would be able to equip itself with all the wherewithal needed to host the event, adding that a number of measures would be required to be taken by the State Government to mop up required resources.
Stating that there was no time to be complacent, the Chief Minister said there are a lot of activities to be done by sports associations and stressed the need to have an apex committee to bring in convergence from all line departments and also a much more inclusive team drawn from all political parties to achieve the mission. Observing that there would be huge requirement for infrastructure building not only hosting 32 Olympic and 8 non-Olympic disciplines but also for hospitality sector, Dr. Sangma said that there were also many local potential investors in the State who could be roped in for creating the infrastructure. Every infrastructure created would be used to move further and open up diverse opportunities for the people of the State, he added.
The Chief Minister also stressed the need for out of the box approach to design the Games Village in such a way to create a product to benefit the people of the State by structuring the investment appropriately.
Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Donkupar Roy while expressing his support for the bid, stressed the need to go forward with the involvement of all the people of the State with due seriousness and transparency in the process. He also stressed the need to ensure that the sports persons of the State are able to participate in the Games and win medals.
Earlier, Sports & Youth Affairs Minister Zenith Sangma in his welcome and introductory note, said that tremendous experience and credibility earned by the State in hosting the South Asian Games, 2016 had led to the bold decision of the State Government to bid for the National Games 2016, while the MSOA Working President John F. Kharshiing, in a power-point presentation, highlighted the way forward for the bidding process and the need for sports policy for hosting the Games.
So far, only two states in North East have hosted the National Games – Manipur in 1999 and Assam in 2007. (MIPR)