Bhubaneswar, Dec. 6: The state government, in association with the Centre, has chalked out a plan to turn Kalinga Stadium into a multi-purpose sports complex in the next five years.
“We have made a blueprint for the stadium’s modernisation. We will spend around Rs 17 crore to turn Kalinga Stadium into a multi-purpose sports complex. The central government has agreed to pay Rs 6 crore for the purpose,” sports minister Ramesh Chandra Majhi said in the Assembly today.
The stadium will get a facelift, while its infrastructure will also go through a major overhaul as part of the renovation programme.
The stadium’s existing football, basketball and hockey turf will be replaced with new synthetic turf, while it will also get a cycle velodrome and new floodlights.
The work to install a synthetic hockey turf is going on at the stadium and it is likely to be completed by the first quarter of 2013.
At present, synthetic turf are available at the Panposh Hockey Stadium, the Sports Authority of India hostel in Sundergarh and the SAIL Stadium in Rourkela.
Secretary of the Odisha Hockey Association Pratap Satpathy said: “Once the synthetic turf is laid, the state will be able to organise national coaching camps here. Foreign players cannot go to Sundergarh, where all the three synthetic hockey turfs of the state are located at present, as there is no air connectivity. The synthetic turf at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar will be of immense help in this regard. It will help the players of the state improve their skills and stamina by both practising and interacting with players from various parts of the world.”
Besides the hockey stadium, the department of sports and youth services is also planning to renovate the stadium’s football ground.
“The state government has already sought funds from the Centre for development of the football ground under the Urban Sports Infrastructure Scheme. Renovation will begin once we get the approval,” said a senior official of the sports and youth services department.
National-level athlete Anuradha Biswal said: “A new breed of sports personalities will come up once the stadium is modernised. It will be good for the overall development of sports in the state.”
The state government has also decided to install floodlights in the stadium. The floodlights will be installed on both the main ground and at the hockey stadium.
Similarly, a cycle velodrome will come up at the place of the existing cycle track. New chairs will be installed near the synthetic basketball ground, the synthetic volleyball ground and the existing galleries.
“The existing chairs in the lower basement of the gallery need to be replaced. Besides, there is no provision for chairs in the galleries. We hope sports lovers will come up in huge numbers to watch various events here once the new set of chairs is installed,” the sports and youth services department official said, adding that the work would be done in a phase-wise manner.
Work has already begun for renovation of the existing dormitory and water system. “We have planned to make its new facilities comparable to international standards,” said the official said.
Besides planning to make the Kalinga Stadium a modern sports complex, the state government has also started taking up projects under the Panchayat Yuva Krida Aur Khel Abhiyan scheme to promote sports in rural areas.
“We plan to improve all the existing playgrounds in each panchayat and in all the blocks of the state as a part of this scheme. While a provision for Rs 1 lakh has been made for each panchayat, a provision for Rs 5 lakh has been allocated for each block for this purpose. We have planned to bring all the 6,000 panchayats of the state under its fold by 2017-18,” said another official of the sports and youth services department.