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CM inaugurates Sovima Cricket Ground

CM Sovima cricket ground

Clarifies on shifting of Dimapur DC’s office

DIMAPUR, OCTOBER 8: Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Friday said that the Government had decided to shift the Dimapur DC’s Office on March 11, 2021 to the new location, but due to public hue and cry, the idea was dropped and instead it was decided to place an ADC as well as a Sub-Treasury Office to ease the congestion in the town in the newly constructed building.
Speaking on the sidelines of the inauguration of Sovima Cricket Ground here at Sovima Village, Dimapur, he said that the new building will be occupied by the ADC supported by the EAC Chümoukedima, Sub-Treasury office, BDO Office, and Passport Office and clarified that no one has been moved from the present DC’s office in Dimapur.
“Who wants to ease out (the congestion) and come is welcome, who wants to stay there, it’s up to them. There is no quarrel”, he said.

Earlier, formally inaugurating the Sovima Cricket Ground in the presence of Nagaland Cricket Association (NCA) officials, representatives of the various Northeastern States’ Cricket Development Committee (NECDC), DC, Dimapur Rajesh Soundararajan, Advisors Mmhonlumo Kikon, Abu Metha, Tovihoto Ayemi, CP, Dimapur, Rothihu Tetseo, among others, Rio said that affiliating as a member of the BCCI was a very long struggle particularly for Nagaland and this has been the same with other sports too, mentioning that when Nagaland Olympic Association was recognised as a State member in 2004, it was already 41 years past statehood and in the meanwhile sportspersons, who were good at their games, had to represent some other States or Corporates.
According to Rio, the foundation stone laid by the then Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar (in 2006) for Nagaland Cricket Stadium at Sovima Village was a huge beginning, which encouraged the NCA, the coming together of NECDC and finally the Lodha Committee delivered justice.
“Nagaland is a small State, we are backward, remote and have the least infrastructure”, he said, resulting in the coming together of all Northeastern States to struggle together and the committee so formed was humbly named NECDC.

It may be mentioned that the NECDC comprises the Northeastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, and Sikkim, which were not affiliated to the BCCI. Rio is the Convener of NECDC.
Remembering the early days when NCA was struggling so much that it had to borrow money from the business community and from own members, he said that after the judgment of the Supreme Court under the recommendation of Lodha committee, Nagaland was affiliated to BCCI.
On the occasion he also remembered cricketers like Jonathan Rongsen and Khrievitso Kense, who made a name for themselves in the sport from Nagaland and claimed that their accomplishments will encourage and motivate others.
Expressing gratitude to the villagers of Sovima and neighbouring villages for their contribution, co-operation and support, he revealed that the ground preparations were all done by trained local professionals and it has attached hostels for boys and girls that can accommodate 40 to 50 players and there is a plan for an indoor stadium. Further, Rio informed that within Sovima, a third cricket ground would be ready in the next one year, facilitating hosting of multiple matches during national and international tournaments, which for now need to be divided and sometimes need to be accommodated in stadiums in Assam.
Advisor to CM and Member Secretary of NECDC Abu Metha, who also addressed the gathering during the inaugural programme, said that getting affiliated to the BCCI wasn’t easy and they had have a number of meetings with the Lodha Committee among others and shared the challenges. He recalled an instance when the NCA and others were asked to walk out of a meeting because of not being affiliated.

He revealed that NCA at present receives Rs 9 crores annually of which 1.4 crores are paid to the players.
Mentioning the historic performance by the U-19 Nagaland team in the Vinoo Mankad Trophy, Metha said that India powers the aspirations of world cricket and Nagaland is a part of the journey.
During the welcome address, NCA President Kechngulie Rio had said that the new ground will facilitate the growth of cricket in Nagaland and the Association will continue to work for the promotion of the sports for both men and women.
(Page News Service)