New Delhi, Apr 30: Sports Minister MS Gill on Tuesday welcomed the Indian Olympic Association's (IOA) decision to disband the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF), saying such a step was "necessary" in the given situation.
"The decision regarding the Indian Hockey Federation, taken last evening by the Executive Committee of the IOA, was necessary," Gill said in a statement.
"It was a unanimous decision and in my judgment appropriate in the given situation. I have carefully noted the composition of the new Selection Committee. I would hope that they work in unison, and for the best interest of the hockey and youth of India," he added, referring to the new selection committee comprising former Olympians.
"In my judgment, it will also be necessary, to have a compact, well chosen and efficient new administration for the IHF. I am confident the IOA will address this." The minister had asked IHF chief KPS Gill to step down after the bribe scandal involving IHF secretary K Jothikumaran.
M S Gill said the Sports Ministry had approved the laying of 12 new astroturfs in the country, a project which will cost Rs 42 crore.
Locations for new Astroturfs include Singpura (J&K) and tribal pockets like Rajnandgaon (Chhattisgarh), Hazaribagh (Jharkhand) and Kokrajhar (Assam).
In another eight places, the work for establishment of astroturf is at different stages of completion. Besides, the work relating to replacement of old astroturfs at NIS Patiala and Kolkata is underway.
The proposal for setting up of another four astroturfs is also in the pipeline, he said.
By the end of 2009, India will have 30 Astroturfs spread across the country for the promotion of hockey.