Tripura minister sets focus on sports to combat drugs
Tripura Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Sushanta Chowdhury

Agartala: Tripura Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Sushanta Chowdhury on Thursday said the state government wants to promote and nurture a culture of sports across the state in order to prevent youth from getting trapped in the vicious cycle of addiction.

The minister said the best way to keep the youths away from drug abuse was to get them involved in some form of physical exercise. Chowdhury’s statement came in the wake of a sudden spurt in HIV cases in the urban areas of the state due to unprotected needle sharing while taking injectable drugs.

The sports minister said robust infrastructural development was being brought into the sports sector so a culture of being physically active could be restored in rural areas.

“All our stadiums and sports-related infrastructures are being developed in such a way that the state can produce players competent enough to represent the state at national as well as international levels,” the minister said.

He said a total of ten synthetic football turfs were being set up in various parts of the state. “The central government, under the ‘Khelo India’ scheme, sponsored a football ground at Chandrapur which is fully functional now. At Khowai, the work is almost over. Apart from that, under special assistance from the state government, four stadiums are being developed with the same facilities. Three more grounds in the TTAADC areas are also being developed with state-of-the-art technology. The state government has sanctioned Rs 25 crore for four fields and 50 open gyms while the central government has also extended financial assistance,” Chowdhury said.

The minister also revealed that the state’s sports and youth affairs department has forwarded a DPR worth Rs 70 crore to the Union government for the development of the Dasarath Deb State Sports Complex. “As part of the project, a world-class stadium for athletics, football and different sports will be developed in the complex”, he said.

Chowdhury stated that indoor multi-purpose halls will also be set up in every district at an expense of Rs 4.50 crore each so that the department can reach out to the talented sportsmen of the rural areas. He also informed the media persons that during his visit to New Delhi, Union Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs, Anurag Thakur, approved Rs 17.5 crore for the development of synthetic turf for playing Hockey in Tripura.  

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