The Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, today e-inaugurated 77 projects completed under the Capex budget by the Youth Services and Sports Department and dedicated the newly created assets to the youth of Jammu and Kashmir.

The event was attended by the Principal Secretary, Youth Services and Sports (YSS) Department, Director of Youth Services and Sports Department, Secretary, Jammu and Kashmir Sports Council, and other senior officers.

The sports-related infrastructural projects have been completed at an estimated cost of Rs. 28.57 crore and include development of playfields, construction of sports halls, courts and buildings, and stadium illumination.

Some of the prominent projects among those inaugurated today are the synthetic lawn tennis court at M.A Stadium, Jammu; Yoga Wellness Centre & Yoga Park at M.A Stadium, Jammu; and the installation of high mast lights at six sports stadiums for conducting day & night tournaments.

The unprecedented boost to sporting infrastructure aims to promote a sporting culture in the Union territory, proactively engage youth in sports and fitness activities, and identify the raw local talent for further training and transformation into international calibre athletes.

The Chief Secretary directed the Department to optimize its infrastructure by organizing regular sports activities across Jammu and Kashmir and purposefully engaging the youth in the Union territory. The Department was also asked to ensure the upkeep, maintenance and cleanliness at all sports stadiums and promote their usage by many players and athletes, besides installing proper signage for easy identification and public awareness.

To further boost sports engagements for optimal utilization of these assets, Dr Mehta directed the Sports Council to coordinate with the departments of Youth Services, School Education and Higher Education and promote engagements through regional tournaments and games regularly.

Further, the Chief Secretary directed the Department to regularly monitor its asset utilization by analyzing the number of hours played, games/tournaments organized, and the number of players/athletes engaged at each facility. It was asked to focus on organizing talent hunts at the block/district level and across all youth clubs.