The provincial government on Friday announced that it will build as many as 15 grounds for the royal sport of polo as it allocated a whopping Rs400 million to develop sports in the province.
This was announced as Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Senior Minister for Tourism, Sports and Youth Affairs Atif Khan chaired a meeting regarding sports projects in the province. During the meeting, Atif announced that the provincial government will set up a monthly stipend programme for athletes who have secured at least gold, silver and bronze medals and they will be paid Rs20,000, Rs15,000 and Rs10,000 respectively.
Moreover, the government aims to spend around a fourth of all funds for sports in the province, around Rs120.7 million, to build 15 polo grounds in Chitral. Of this, Atif said that Rs63.5 million will be spent on the construction of eight polo grounds in Lower Chitral and Rs56.87 million to build seven polo grounds in Upper Chitral. A further Rs20 million have been allocated to conduct a feasibility study and design the sports city in Mardan. Moreover, Rs108.96 million have been approved for the construction of squash courts in eight different educational institutions of Peshawar.
The squash courts will be set up in the Islamia College School, Government High School No.1, New Village High School, Lady Griffith Girls School, Frontier College, Benazir Women University, Government College and the Jinnah College. To build a playground in the Khanpur area of Haripur district, he said that Rs16.69 million have been allocated on a priority basis to facilitate the youth of the area.
Besides, Rs99 million have been approved to build a swimming pool at the Hayatabad Sports Complex while Rs9.96 million have been allocated for the construction of a tennis court with synthetic turf in the provincial capital.
The sports minister recalled how, after a gap of nine years, the national games were held in the province in which 10,000 athletes from across the country had participated. Meanwhile, K-P Chief Minister Mahmood Khan on Friday directed to release Rs177 million for the uplift of various hospitals of Swat district. The decision was taken to facilitate people of the valley.
In this regards, the K-P finance department has released Rs55 million for a kidney hospital in the valley while a further Rs50 million have been released for the Saidu Group Teaching Hospital. Separately, Rs70 million have been released for various tehsil headquarters (THQs) hospitals in the district.
In this regard, Swat Deputy Commissioner Saqib Raza Aslam chaired a meeting on Friday, where he directed the district health authorities to ensure the judicious use of funds.