Dehradun's Rs 100 crore ice skating rink on the verge of meltdown
What's the Story?
The only international sized skating rink in the country is situated in Dehradun. Constructed in 2011, it was built at a cost of over Rs 100 crore, and today stands at the risk of meltdown due to negligence on part of the authorities. The skating rink has an extremely high maintenance cost, which the Uttarakhand government is unable to bear.
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The facility in Dehradun has a seating capacity of 2,500 and was inaugurated in 2011 during the South Asian Winter Games in January.
Heart of the Matter
The skating rink has an approximate daily maintenance cost of over Rs 30,000 on electricity, high-cost machinery, salaries of technical staff and other operational costs. The last major event that was hosted at the rink was 5 years back when the International Ice Hockey Federation's Asia Cup was hosted in March 2012.
The Ice Skating Association of India, which takes care of the venue, has called out to the central government to take over the proceedings from the state government, something that the association believes, could help save the rink.
Dueto this poor state of affairs at the Dehradun Ice-Skating Rink, many of the Indian athletes are forced to train abroad.
It remains to be seen if the Uttarakhand Government can get some sort of sponsorship from the central government regarding the maintenance of the rink. The skating rink's functionality is certainly crucial to our athlete's performances in major events and directly affects India's medal hopes.
It seems quite ironic that Indian athletes have to train abroad for short periods when there is an international-sized rink right inside our own country. Even though the cost of running an international-sized skating rink is extremely high, the government needs to look at the bigger picture and bear the cost for the benefit of our athletes.