SHILLONG: Meghalaya on Wednesday signed the "Host City Contract" with the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) for the 39th National Games 2022.
Following the signing of the tripartite agreement, to which the Meghalaya State Olympics Association (MSOA) is also a party, the state government handed over a cheque of Rs 45 million as contract fee for holding the event to the IOA.
Meghalaya will be hosting the National Games 2022 coinciding with the 50th year of the creation of the state.
"Without doubt the National Games 2022 will put Meghalaya in the Olympic Map with the National Games as a catalyst. History will talk about a Meghalaya before the National Games and a much better Meghalaya after the National Games," said MSOA working president John F Kharshiing.
The state's Sports and Youth Affairs Director Matsiewdor War Nongbri said that all actions as per timelines set in the contract will be taken up, which include the IOA establishing a coordination commission by March, setting up of the National Games Olympics Committee (NGOC) before April 3, and finalising NGOC emblem and mascot(s) by July.
Nongbri said the state government would also submit a master plan including the sports programme of the Games to the IOA for its approval before January 2019.
IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta said that under the agreement there will be milestones and each work will have to be finished within a fixed timeline.
"The host city will have to complete building of infrastructures by 2021 a year ahead of the Games. There is also a penalty clause of Rs 2 crore (Rs 20 million) per year in case of delay in hosting the Games," Mehta told journalists.
He said the Central government will provide 30 per cent of the total budget for the National Games while the remaining 70 per cent funds would have to be raised by the state government.
"The state government can maybe raise these funds through sponsorships from various private companies' through corporate social responsibility initiatives," Mehta added.
Meghalaya will be the third northeastern state to host the National Games. Manipur in 1999 and Assam in 2007 have earlier hosted the Games.
It bears noting that Meghalaya had co-hosted the 2016 South Asian Games along with Assam so the basic infrastructure is already in place.
An estimated 14,450 athletes and officials are expected to visit Meghalaya during the Games.