The Jalandhar sports industry that has been waiting for a skill development centre in the city for a long time has expressed resentment over the opening of skill centres mainly in the Malwa belt. Many factory owners said their demand seemed to have been ignored once again, as the skill development centres had already been set up in Ludhiana, Amritsar and Mohali. The sports industry in Jalandhar was renowned across the globe at some point of time, but has been moving to other states and lack of skilled labor is said to be one of the major reasons for this. However, above 400 sports manufacturing units still exist in the city. Due to lack of interest among labourers in Punjab in sports, the industry has to rely upon unskilled labour from UP and Bihar.
Ravinder Dhir, president of the Beopar Sena said, “The skill development centre was supposed to be opened for the sports industry of Jalandhar. But, later on, other industries including leather, valves, pipe fitting, etc, were also included in it and messed up everything. There was a time when local laborers used to train their children for the sports industry, which is not the current scenario.” The issue had been taken up with the district administration, MLAs and ministers from Jalandhar several times, yet nothing has happened.
KD Bhandari, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, said, “The land for the centre has already been identified in the industrial area. The matter has been taken up with Madan Mohan Mittal, Punjab Minister for Industry, Commerce, Technical Education and Industrial Training, a couple of days ago. I expect the city to get a skill development centre soon.”
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