Covid-19 derails Karnataka State Sports Awards

BENGALURU Karnataka The wait for the state sports awards, which have already been delayed for more than a year, will continue for many more months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The awards function, which was last held in March 2018, when the then Prime Minister Siddaramaiah gifted performance awards in 2017, not held last year due to political uncertainty in the state. The top stars face endless waiting for government honor for their performances in 2018 and 2019.

Every year a total of 15 athletes are entertained with the Ekalavya Prize . The state also gives the Karnataka Kreeda Ratna and lifetime achievement awards.

The coronavirus it has now derailed all plans and the award ceremony is unlikely to take place on August 29, National Sports Day. The 2019 prize list is ready and cash prizes can be awarded without ceremony, but the problem is that priorities have now changed after the pandemic, sources told TOI.

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They said that with government finances already stretched due to the pandemic, the powers of the various department heads to sanction the funds have been removed and now each proposal has to go to the finance ministry.

The instruction is clear and all the departments have been told to take up only the most essential matters and get it cleared from the finance department. A proposal sent to the government to constitute the panel to select the 2020 winners is pending approval. As the awards are not high priority they are expected to be pushed to the end of the year," they said.

The expense for the ceremony was set at Rs 1.5 crore, including around Rs 80 lakh for the cash prize.

Topping the priority list for DYES is the reopening of the shelters, pending work that includes the renewal of roads in the Sree Kanteerava Stadium and distribute uniforms, sources added.

DYES was planning to call for applications for the 2020 awards in March when the pandemic forced the country into a lockout.