GUWAHATI, Nov 26 – With the Centre approving the setting up of a National Institute of Mountaineering & Allied Sports (NIMAS) at Dirang in Arunachal Pradesh as an autonomous institute under the Defence Ministry, the mountaineering fraternity of Assam has made a strong pitch for having the proposed Mountaineering and Adventure Sports Institute for the north-eastern States in Assam.
The Union Ministry of DoNER had earlier agreed to a proposal from the Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) to set up a mountaineering and Adventure Sports Institute at Dirang in Arunachal Pradesh. In May 2008, the DoNER asked the North Eastern Council (NEC) to prepare a detailed project report and to sanction Rs 4.5 crore.
Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has also lent his support to the cause and taken up the matter with DoNER Minister Paban Singh Ghatowar for expediting the project in Assam.
“…the institute was earlier proposed o be set up in Arunachal Pradesh. However, in view of the decision to set up the NIMAS in Arunachal Pradesh itself, it is felt that the proposed Mountaineering and Adventure Sports Institute under the aegis of the Ministry of DoNER may now be set up with its headquarters in Assam,” Gogoi said in a letter to Ghatowar dated October 26, 2012.
The Chief Minister said that establishment of the adventure sports institute would go a long way in promoting team spirit, discipline and sports culture “which is very much required in our region in general and Assam in particular, which has a history of youth turmoil.”
The proposed institute was to be set up on the model of the Western Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (WHIMI), a Government of Himachal Pradesh undertaking, at Manali along with centres in each of the north-eastern States.
The Assam Mountaineering Association which has been demanding a mountaineering and adventure sports institute in the State for long, has also urged Ghatowar to expedite the establishment of the institute.
“The Indian Mountaineering Foundation is willing to provide possible assistance to DoNER/NEC/State Government to identify, plan, coordinate and monitor the overall development of adventure training and establishment of the adventure institute in the North-east. We feel that the headquarters of the proposed institute should be in Assam,” Satyen Sarma, president, Assam Mountaineering Association, said.
The Assam Olympic Association (AOA) has also called for early setting up the proposed institute in Assam. “We urge the Chief Minister to take up the matter with the Centre, especially the DoNER Ministry for setting up the headquarters of the proposed institute for the north-eastern States in Assam, preferably in any of the upper Assam districts of Sivasagar, Jorhat or Dibrugarh,” Debabrata Saikia, executive member, AOA, said.