islamabad - The civic authorities are least bothered to pay attention towards pathetic conditions of the sports facilities constructed at different sectors of the federal capital.

All the cricket grounds located at different sectors are occupied by mafias who are not only charging hefty money from cricket lovers but are also not ready to spare even students. It is almost impossible for the youth to pay Rs 10,000 to Rs 30,000 per day for utilising facilities of cricket grounds like Diamond, Marghazar, National, Bhutto and the costliest Shalimar Cricket Ground.

Shalimar Cricket Ground is under the control of former test cricketer Majid Khan’s nephew Hassan, a banker by profession, who is free to charge hefty amounts from different private organisers and all those who want to play cricket at the venue. Pakistan and Afghanistan cricket teams played at the same venue and Pakistan Cricket Board had spent a lot of money to give this ground a shape. The Capital Development Authority tried to take over the possession of the ground but Hassan allegedly used his good offices and stopped the move.

This scribe tried to contact Hassan several times to seek his point of view in this regard but to no avail as the gentleman neither picked up the call nor bothered to respond back.

When contacted, President Islamabad Region Cricket Association Shakil Sheikh — who is also the PCB governing body member — to seek his point of view and divert his attention towards overcharging by different clubs, he said Shalimar Cricket Ground doesn’t fall under his jurisdiction. He admitted there are a lot of complaints regarding heavy charges for the ground, adding it is CDA’s job to take action. “I am responsible for the grounds where ICA registered clubs practice. We don’t charge a single penny from clubs and youth and provide them free of cost facilities. Yes we have to spend huge funds on maintenance and renovation of the grounds, besides paying salaries to grounds men and other staff, but we manage all this through private sector,” he added.

Same is the case with F-6 Markaz mini-sports complex established by CDA almost a decade ago. A net was installed at the football ground some 5 years back to prevent footballs going out and hit shops but it has not been replaced with a new one so far. Around 12 shops are located near the mini-complex and shopkeepers are suffering as balls hit glasses of their shops on routine basis. While the Astroturf of the football and lawn tennis areas is completely in shambles and lights have also been out of order since long.

The CDA spokesman could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.