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Leander to kick start projects

Siliguri, April 4: Ace tennis player Leander Paes will visit Siliguri on April 9 to lay the foundation stones for the upgrade of three sports facilities here.

“Leander is currently at Miami in USA for a tournament. He had confirmed his visit here last month,” urban development minister Asok Bhattacharya told a media conference here today.

The centres will be upgraded with the area development funds of Bhattacharya, who is the MLA from Siliguri. The minister said he has sanctioned Rs 9 lakh for the projects.

“Earlier, Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza had visited the town. But this is the first time that Leander will be coming. During his visit on Friday, he will first go to the Ramakrishna Bayam Shiksha Sangha where he will lay the foundation stone for the construction of a wooden floor for the club’s indoor badminton coaching centre. After that he will lay the foundation stones for halls in Deshbandhu Sporting Union Club and Young Men Association, the two table tennis coaching centres here. He will return to Calcutta the same evening,” Bhattacharya said.

The minister added that he had given Rs 3 lakh to each of the clubs to upgrade their facilities. “Leander will also hand over the cheques to the officials,” Bhattacharya said. “From 2006 to 2010, I had spent Rs 1.80 crore on several development projects in my constituency. Some times government funds do not reach on time and it is during that period that such funds help to continue the work,” he said, as part of his canvassing groundwork for the Assembly elections that are only a few months away.

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