SHILLONG, Jan 3: In a prelude to the hosting of the National Games in Meghalaya in 2022, the host city contract was signed here on Wednesday.
The three stakeholders comprising the state government, Meghalaya State Olympic Association (MSOA) and Indian Olympic Association (IOA) signed the agreement.
The state government was represented by additional chief secretary Peter W Ingty, the MSOA by its working president John F Kharshiing and the IOA was represented by secretary general Rajeev Mehta.
Also on the occasion, the Meghalaya government handed over a cheque of Rs 4.50 crore to the IOA as bidding amount. The total bidding amount is Rs 5 crore.
Earlier, the state government had submitted a bank draft of Rs. 50 lakh to the IOA.
The MSOA working president, while delivering his speech on the occasion hoped that the National Games would transform Meghalaya’s poorest segment of the population in different ways.
Kharshiing also said that in a time when the country is divided politically, economically and socially, the National Games will have tremendous all round transformation for the youths of Meghalaya and the country as a whole by hosting the National Games 2022.
“The whole country is turning to the North East to tap the hidden sports talents of the region,” the MSOA working president said.
He also said that without doubt the National Games 2022 will put Meghalaya in the Olympic Map with the National Games as a catalyst.
“History will talk about a Meghalaya before the National Games and a much better Meghalaya after the National Games. The extraordinary circumstances highlight the importance of teamwork,” Kharshiing said.
The MSOA working president also said that National Games venues could be transformed into public parks and recreational areas for the local population after the Games.
Later speaking to media persons, the IOA secretary general said that under the agreement there will be milestones and each work will have to be finished within a fixed timeline.
Mehta also informed that the host city will have to complete building of infrastructures by 2021 a year ahead of the Games.
“There is also a penalty clause of Rs two crore per year in case of delay in hosting the games,” the IOA secretary general informed.
Mehta also informed that the centre will provide 30 percent of the total budget for the National Games while the remaining 70 percent funds for holding the event the state government would have to raise it on its own.
“The state government may be raise these funds through sponsorships from various private companies’ corporate social responsibility initiatives,” Mehta added.
The IOA secretary general also said that the role of the country’s Olympic body was to technical support to the host city.
It may be mentioned that on December 27, 2016, the annual general body meeting of the Indian Olympic Association held in Chennai accepted the bid of Meghalaya.
The IOA, on March last year, formally announced that Meghalaya would host the National Games 2022, after the state had made a bid to host the mega event.
So far, only two states from North East — Manipur and Assam — have hosted the National Games in 1999 and 2007, respectively.