KARACHI Funds amounting to Rs. 23 million have been sanctioned for the development of Pakistan Customs Hockey complex, countrys second biggest hockey exclusive facility built in mid eighties. Former Olympian Samiullah who is also vice president of the complex managing committee, disclosing the details of the funds here Monday, said that the amount which is the first installment of a big overall package will be utilised for laying a new synthetic turf at the Complex located in the thickly populated Federal area on Rashid Minhas Road. He said the due process which includes initial bidding for importing the turf has already been set in motion and hoped that the turf would be laid some time around in June/July of this year. He said under the approved overall development plan a floodlight system and modern sprinkler system would also be installed in due course of time when the second installment of sanctioned funds was released which he said most probably be after June. He said chairman Federal Board of Revenue Sohail Ahmed, member FBR Munir Qureshi and collector Customs (preventive) Fateh Muhammad played crucial role in the approval of the funds. These high officials, he said gave sympathetic consideration, to the development plan and were instrumental in approving the funds. He said Customs which had proud history of producing biggest number of high profile Olympians and other international hockey stars who served and helped Pakistan hockey bring a number of international laurels, had a number of plans under consideration to develop the complex. The Pakistan Hockey Federation had also been informed about the future development plan of the complex and added that president of PHF former Olympian Qasim Zia is also interested in providing support to Pakistan Customs plan. Customs, he said, was also planning a hockey academy with the support of the PHF. Customs, he said was also planning to revive its hockey team which needed fresh players but due to some administrative and financial constraints, new players could not be engaged in the team. However things were moving in the right direction and hoped that Pakistan Customs team would be once again soon be amongst the top departmental teams. However due to lack of funds further development at the complex was kept on hold and now when the funds have been sanctioned the long overdue development plans would restart. It is pertinent to mention that an Astro turf pitch was laid around 1984.Pakistan Customs also organized a number of local and national events when the turf was in good condition but as it wore out over the years, the activities were suspended because the surface was not suitable for top class activities. However after the installation of a new tuft after a gap of 26 years, the activities at the complex would be revived. customs had already committed itself to revive Quaid-e-Azam Gold Cup hockey which is one of the top class all Pakistan event. The department is also expected to utilize the facilities for the development of hockey at local level. There are five synthetic hockey pitches in the city and Customs Hockey complex is the one which served the local hockey most because it was cheaper to hire and also because it was located near a main traffic artery of the city. Hockey Club of Pakistan, UBL hockey ground, DHA hockey stadium and Pakistan Steel Mills hockey ground also have synthetic hockey surfaces. DHA hockey stadium has been converted ina parking lot and the hockey facility has been scratched. Recently the City government laid a synthetic surface in Gulshan E Iqbal.