Vijayapura: Over a three-decade-long dream of professional cyclists to have a Velodrome in Vijayapura is finally coming true as the project is taking shape.
The works of the Velodrome being built at Bhutanal, the outskirts of the City, is finally going at a fast pace and is expected to be opened to the public in the first quarter of next year.
Interestingly, the project started way back in 2015 itself, but owing to various technical glitches in the preparation of the design and the failure of the contractor to follow the prescribed guidelines on Velodrome, the project kept delaying. The Government has earmarked Rs. 7.35 Crore for the project.
“When the project was first started and the contractor was doing civil works back in 2015-16 itself, we had told the Sports Department and the Contractors also that the work was not being done as per the specifications required for Velodrome. But neither officials nor engineers took our objections seriously. They continue to do faulty work. Time and again, we tried to bring the matter to the authorities, but none of them took it seriously. They realised the mistake only when the major portion of civil works was over,” said Raju Biradar, President of Armature Cyclists’ Association.
He however is happy for at least now the hurdles are being cleared and work is being done as per the international standards needed for the Velodrome.
“We are happy with the work. We visited the spot and found that now the work is taking place according to the norms. If this was done in the past, the project would have been completed years ago,” said Biradar.
Asked what corrective measures were taken to rectify the mistakes, Deputy Commissioner, Vijaymahantesh Danammanavar said that the first decision on finding faults and correcting them was taken by his predecessor, P. Sunil Kumar.
“During his tenure, he made sure to visit Chennai and Hyderabad where the Velodromes are built. The visit helped in finding a solution with the experts,” he said.
After the transfer of Sunil Kumar, Danammanavar took charge of the project and contacted the experts from Kolkata and persuaded them to visit the District to guide the contractor.
“The experts are now helping in completing the project as per the specifications. We are hopeful that the main civil works will be over by February next year,” he said.
Danammanavar however said to make the project state-of-the-art by providing more facilities such as a pavilion, practice area etc. more funds are needed.
“I have directed the Sports Department to get the estimate prepared for additional requirements. This would help in seeking funds from the Government,” he said.
Meanwhile, even Biradar believes that the mere basic structure of the Velodrome will not make it complete and comprehensive unless more facilities are added.
“The major portion of the work started during the ruling BJP Government. The credit will also go to the same Government if it grants some additional funds to make the project State-of-the-art. It is required mainly for Bijapur since the District has emerged as a grooming place for cyclists in the State. The District has given several national and international cyclists. The full-fledged project will help in holding national and international events. If the funds are granted now, then it is possible to take up parallel works along with the main civil works. Together the project could be completed before the coming assembly polls next year,” he said.
Biradar also said that after the completion of the project, it will greatly help the cyclists to practice and prepare for track events also.
In the absence of a track, the cyclists are only practising on highways for cross country. Now, they can prepare for both events and can participate in national and international events.
Even the same events can be held in Vijayapura also as the City will have a full-fledged professional Velodrome for professional cyclists.
The District currently has around 50 professional cyclists, of whom several have participated in State, National and International events. The Velodrome will certainly encourage more youth to participate in cycling events and make their mark in this field.