Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore was unhappy with the facilities at the Sports Authority of India, Bengaluru, as he slammed the infrastructure of the training centre that is home to India’s hockey campers.

Rathore’s visit to the SAI centre on Thursday involved the minister carrying out a check of the swimming complex, hockey pitches, shooting range and the athletics ground, according to a report in the Times of India.

The 2004 Olympic silver medallist inspected newly-laid facilities, including the refurbished swimming complex and the synthetic athletics track that had been laid prior to the 2016 Olympics.

He was forthright in his assessment of the work done: “I’d been hearing about the bad quality of work with regard to the synthetic athletics track and swimming pool. I’ve seen it myself now. The quality is the worst I have ever seen. We can’t be investing in second-rate products. Poor quality of workmanship has gone into the swimming pool. The synthetic track is supposed to be brand new, it’s supposed to have a life of seven years and it is already worn out in places and they’ve put patches. It’s only two years old.”

The former shooter also demanded accountability from the the sub-contractors responsible for the work and ordered an inquiry into the matter. “The money belongs to the taxpayers,” he was quoted as saying. “Each penny has to be accounted for and we have to get the best value for it. Better synthetic tracks and better swimming pools are being laid out for lesser money than what we’ve invested. This is very distressing.”

He added, “Unfortunately, I can’t also lose time because my athletes are training and I have to give them the facility. But I will ensure these agencies do not take advantage of that. This needs to change immediately. SAI, Bengaluru, can be one of the very good centres.”

Later, the minister also visited the Padukone-Dravid Centre of Sports Excellence and was reasonably pleased with the facilities, also hinting at a tie-up between the Union government and private facilities. “I was very happy to see the facility at the Padukone Dravid Centre for Sports Excellence,” he said. “I will also look into how we can partner with such institutions through Khelo India. They are privately run and better managed and we will offer them the support of the government of India.”