Bengaluru: For basketball enthusiasts of Malleswaram and nearby areas, it has been an 11-year agonizing wait for a modern indoor stadium, and now the authorities claim it will take some more months for its completion.
The construction began in 2006 at Malleswaram 15th cross and the initial estimated cost was Rs 4.85 crore. The project cost has overshot by 49 per cent and the wooden plank is yet to be laid.
The players will still have to wait for another 4-5 months for the indoor stadium to be ready for use.
B.S Gautham, a former National basketball player who represented Asian Championship in 1997, said, “It has been 11 years since they started the construction, think of how many talents would have gone during that time. There is still a wooden plank that needs to be laid which would take more time and money.”
He lamented that the game is still not being recognized or developed, which makes it stand right where it was 10 years ago. "This Beagles basketball club produced almost 26 international players and at least 4 to 5 players used to play for the state basketball team. Day and night players used to come and practice, where is it all gone now?" questioned Gautham.
Basketball enthusiasts said the sport has always been sidelined and never acknowledged, unlike other nations. “We are waiting for the construction work to be completed. There are very few stadiums which have good facility. I think this kind of stadium will encourage children to take up the sport,” said Sandeep, an engineering student and a local resident.
Narayan, a BBMP engineer said, “The tender was called once again due to some reasons and the work will be completed in another 4-5 months time.”
Local MLA Dr Ashwath Narayan said, “I agree that the work was stopped for some time because the contractor ran away. It has now been fast-tracked and we will try to finish it by end of this year.”