New Delhi: The government announced that it has earmarked Rs 258.39 crore for the preparation of athletes for the London Olympics, under 'Project Opex 2012'.

Sports minister Ajay Maken, while addressing a press meet, said the estimated amount is for a period of 16 months, starting April 2011.

16 disciplines, identified by the government for systematic and scientific training, will benefit from the programme.

The performance of Indian athletes at the Commonwealth and Asian Games made basis for the identification of the disciplines for the scheme.

The 16 disciplines identified are: Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Boxing, Gymnastics, Hockey, Judo, Rowing, Sailing, Shooting, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Tennis, Weightlifting and Wrestling.

Maken said the Steering Committee of the ministry has finalised action plans in all 16 identified disciplines.

In the first round of meeting, the list of core probables, foreign and Indian coaches, support personnel, duration and venues of National Coaching Camps, International exposures and qualifying competitions have been identified.

The strategic planning for qualifying tournaments are being prepared by the national coaches in consultation with foreign coaches. A total of 28 foreign coaches have been selected for engagement. 17 coaches have joined and 11 are in the process of joining.

Maken also said that 32 government observers in the identified disciplines have been appointed to ensure effective conduct of the national coaching camps and for fair selection of players for international exposures and qualifying competitions.

The sports minister also said a three-member committee of experts will be appointed to ensure that the national athletes get the best possible nutrition and diet.

In addition to this, a three-member oversight committee consisting of one member each from IOA, Sports Authority of India (SAI) and Sport discipline is also being constituted that will visit the national camps periodically to check the standards of food and other infrastructure.

The government had launched the Operation Excellence (OPEX) 'Project Opex 2012' in March this year.

London 2012: Government to spend Rs 20 crore on foreign coaches

Government will be spending Rs 20 crore for roping in the services of 28 foreign support staff in various disciplines keeping an eye on next year's London Olympics 2012.

According to detailed report prepared by the ministry of sports, the amount spent on coach's salary will be around 7.7 percent (approx) of the total expenditure of Rs 258.9 crore planned for the next 400 days upto the quadrennial extravaganza.

Special emphasis has been given on athletics with specialists being employed in middle-distance, sprints, high-jump, walking along with recovery experts and masseuse.

Among the notable foreign coaches are gymnastics coach Vladimir Chertkov who will be paid the $6875 per month (3.06 lakh per month). After US coach Chertkov, there are a few coaches in the $6000 (Rs 2.67 lakh per month) bracket.

They are Nikolai Snasarev (middle-distance coach), athletics recovery expert Andrei Filimonau, shooting coaches (Rifles) Stanislas Lapidus and (pistols) Alexander Malentiev.

Sprint coach Iurii Ogorodinik will be paid $5400 per month (Rs 2.41 lakh) while the other sprint coach Dmytro Vanyaikin will be drawing $4200 (Rs 1.87 lakh) per month.

Two other athetics coaches Alexander Artsybashev and Anatoli Varda will be receiving $4000 (Rs 1.78 lakh) and $4500 (Rs 2 lakh) respectively.

Ukrainian high-jump coach Levgen Nikitin will be getting $4500 (Rs 2 lakh) per month while masseuse Elena Buldova will be paid $2000 (Rs 89,000).

For the Judokas, Sergeiy Saveliev from Belarus will be paid $3000 (Rs 1.33 lakh).

The National Rifle Association of India's proposal to have Fedorchenko Anatoily of Russia as the Gun Smith for shooting at a salary of $2000 (Rs 89,000) was also approved.

Break-up of Govt Expenses in Various Disciplines:

Archery: Rs 92224000 (Rs 9.22 crore) (all approx) Athletics: Rs 159478000 (Rs 15.94 crore) Badminton: Rs 130880000 (Rs 13.08 crore) Boxing: Rs Rs 271996000 (Rs 27.19 crore) Gymnastics: Rs 135768000 (Rs 13.57 crore) Hockey: Rs 205038000 (Rs 20.50 crore) Judo: Rs 120628000 (Rs 12.06 crore) Rowing: Rs 87412471 (Rs 8.74 crore) Shooting: Rs 437990000 (Rs 43.79 crore) Swimming: Rs 127320000 (Rs 12.73 crore) Table Tennis: Rs 146224000 (Rs 14.62 crore) Taekwondo: Rs Rs 94138000 (Rs 9.41 crores) Tennis (5 players under NSDF): 21600000 (Rs 2.16 crore) Weightlifting: Rs 111962000 (Rs 11.19 crore) Wrestling: Rs 157216000 (Rs 15.72 crore) Yatching: Rs 83992000 (Rs 8.39 crore) Expenditure (excluding coaches' salary) Rs 238.29 crore.

(Agencies)