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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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CIMA Gallary

Funds fillip for crumbling stadium

A hitherto run-down and neglected Jaipal Singh Stadium in the heart of Ranchi can hope to be back in the game, with the capitalís civic guardians loosening purse strings for its much-awaited facelift.

The Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) has released a corpus of Rs 3.38 crore for a football ground, a renovated administrative building, a playersí pavilion, an open-air sports arena, a gym, a garden and a vending zone on the sprawling nine acres. And work is likely to begin as early as March-end.

Civic mandarins are, currently, preparing to bring out a tender and invite bids from parties interested in developing the stadium named after a hockey legend.

ďIn the next two-three days, a tender will be floated. If everything goes well, we will find a developer soon and renovation and beautification work of Jaipal Singh Stadium can be started by the end of next month,Ē said Naresh Sinha, RMCís public relations officer.

Sources added that a week ago, the urban development department had approved funds for stadium revamp and all hurdles had been cleared.

The open-air sports arena can be used both by members of different associations, who at present have their offices at the existing administrative building, and joggers. The garden, on the other hand, will be the centre of attraction for children. The trading zone will ease traffic congestion at Albert Ekka Chowk, the current address of street vendors.

The Jaipal Singh Stadium has seen bad times.

In 2007, then urban development minister Raghubar Das proposed a shopping complex at the site. A contract was awarded to a Delhi-based developer, but the matter ended up in court in 2008. Newly elected councillors opposed the Dasís plan, prompting the disgruntled developer to sue the then government.

A fresh proposal for a shopping complex and an indoor stadium also died a silent death.

The current blueprint, complete with a football facility, has been prepared by city architect Chadda & Associates. A few days back after the urban development department sanctioned funds, governorís adviser K. Vijay Kumar visited the stadium and directed civic officials to begin revamp.