The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Pitch set right for sports arena

South Calcutta will finally get its own sports stadium with a commercial complex. A seven-and-a-half-acre plot on the Rashbehari connector of the E.M. Bypass will be used by the CMDA to set up the stadium.

According to officials, the Rs 14-crore project will play a vital part in CMDA’s drive to generate funds for implementing social projects. The decision to use the land was taken at a recent meeting of the CMDA’s works committee.

The stadium, when complete, will be used for cricket, football, tennis, athletics and other games. First division and Group A matches can be played here, with the small clubs getting the chance to play in a big stadium, said an official.

“Work on the stadium, the only one which the CMDA has taken up so far, will start within a few months,” said Sudhangshu Sil, CPM legislator and chairman of CMDA’s tender committee. “It has been a long-standing demand from the people and since there is no big stadium in the southern part of the city, we decided to take up the project. Once implemented successfully, we will take up more such projects to generate revenue,” MLA Sil added.

The land, now being used as a playground by a local club of Rajdanga, belongs to CMDA’s East Calcutta Township Project. The cost of constructing the stadium will be met by selling or renting out commercial spaces. Showrooms, restaurants, offices and other shops are being planned in the commercial complex.

“A rough outline has been drawn up and the detailed scheme will be prepared soon,” said a senior officicial of CMDA’s Centre for Intelligence and Integrated Technology (CIIT). The commercial complex would be constructed under the gallery, he informed.

“This is a self-financing scheme. Nearly a lakh square feet can be utilised and the stalls can be sold at the existing rate of Rs 1,500 to 2,000 per sq ft. In all, we can expect to generate Rs 15 crore. A sum of Rs 1.5 crore will be spent by the CMDA for the project,” the official said.

Officials said the cash-strapped body is taking up such commercial projects to generate funds for social development schemes. “The CMDA has undertaken housing projects on a large scale, along with other fund-generating schemes. The money earned is being pumped into social schemes, like water supply, slum improvement and economic housing, which often have to be subsidised. The fund is also being used to meet overheads,” said a CMDA official.

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