NO PLACE TO PRAC­TISE

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NEWS -

A Kopar Khairane res­i­dent, said: “Peo­ple from all over the state and coun­try have come to live in Navi Mum­bai. Th­ese in­clude thou­sands of pa­trons of wrestling. The math­adis who hail from western Maharashtra are prom­i­nent among them. There are sev­eral good wrestlers in the po­lice force and other or­gan­i­sa­tions.”

Ma­hesh Shinde, a wrestler, said: “The sport that has earned the coun­try the rare in­di­vid­ual medal in Olympics is not be­ing given a small piece of land in the city. Cidco and NMMC have given step-moth­erly treat­ment to the sport, its

par­tic­i­pants and its pa­trons.”

Shinde said: “There is no place to prac­tise for those who want to make wrestling a ca­reer in the sport. The wrestling pa­trons bereft of any prac­tic­ing ground are de­mand­ing that NMMC and Cidco de­velop an akhara in ev­ery node of the city.”

MAYOR GIVES MORE AS­SUR­ANCES Cidco vice-chair­man and man­ag­ing di­rec­tor San­jay Bha­tia re­fused to com­ment on the is­sue.

Mayor Sud­hakar Son­awane said: “We are plan­ning to de­velop two akha­ras in the city us­ing MLA San­deep Naik’s funds. They will come up in San­pada and Kopar Khairane and will be the tra­di­tional mud based and also the mod­ern mat based to pre­pare for Olympics.”

Son­awane added that Rs10 lakh will be sanc­tioned from the MLA funds for the akhadas.

A wrestling en­thu­si­ast said: “A wrestling mat it­self costs Rs5 lakh. How will a mere Rs10 lakh help? Th­ese as­sur­ances are never go­ing to end.”

THE PAST

In 2005, the then cor­po­ra­tor Chan­drab­haga More had fol­lowed up on the is­sue. The gen­eral body of NMMC had ap­proved a mod­ern wrestling ground. The stand­ing com­mit­tee had ap­proved the de­vel­op­ment of a wrestling ground in Kopar Khairane. How­ever, due to dis­agree­ment on the place, the res­o­lu­tion has been gath­er­ing dust. The NMMC, too, has not done any­thing to build an akhara.

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