Malappuram: In a shocking case of official apathy, sports equipment and other logistics worth Rs 1 crore that were purchased for the 35th National Games hosted by Kerala in 2015 have gone missing.
High-end imported athletic equipment that were reported missing included javelins, hurdles and starting blocks.
The Directorate of Sports and Youth Affairs had procured athletic accessories worth Rs 1.5 crore for the beinniel competition. Officials had been claiming that all the equipment were handed over to the Kerala State Sports Council (KSSC) as per a government order once the Games was over. The National Games Secretariat, the nodal agency formed by the state government for organising the games, had also confirmed that the articles in question were in KSSC's possession.
However, in reply to an RTI query, the Council stated that the sports items in its custody were worth only Rs 50 lakh and it had no information of the equipment that were 'missing' and 'non-traceable'.
The sports department had also purchased Timing-Scoring-Result (TSR) systems worth Rs 33.9 lakh for the Games. There was no mention of these items in the reply to the RTI query.
"The sports articles received by the Council after the Games had been distributed among district sports councils and sports hostels. We have maintained proper records of those items. The Council can only comment on the things that were handed over to us," said KSSC president Mercy Kuttan.
No stock records
The authorities concerned were not in a position to provide information on the 84 missing javelins that cost approximately Rs 60 lakh. They are also clueless on the missing 40 hammers and 35 fibre crossbars used for pole vault events.
According to KSSC officials, around hundred aluminium hurdles purchased for training purposes during the National Games are currently with the Kozhikode District Sports Council. However, 110 automatic hurdles, procured at an approximate cost of Rs 17,000 each, have no account in the records maintained by either the sports department or the KSSC.
Eighteen starting blocks equipped with electronic sensors, 10 steeplechase hurdles, 14 take-off boards and two hammer throw cages have also gone missing.
Missing items and their approximate value
84 javelins - Rs 60 lakh
110 automatic hurdles - Rs 18.7 lakh
18 starting blocks and sensor boxes - Rs 5.4 lakh
10 steeplechase hurdles - Rs 3.5 lakh
35 pole vault crossbars - Rs 1.57 lakh
40 hammers - Rs 1.2 lakh