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Hockey turf job on fast track

- Target set to complete second ground before monsoon

Bhubaneswar, June 8: Authorities have expedited the construction of a second synthetic turf at the hockey stadium in Kalinga Sports Complex, keeping an eye on the upcoming monsoon.

A second practice turf is a must for the city to host the 35th edition of the Champions Trophy men’s hockey tournament scheduled to be held from December 13 to January 2.

An official of the Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (Idco), which has been entrusted with the job of construction of the second hockey turf, said the concrete work of the field would be over by July end.

The concretisation process involves laying of a mixture of granite, metal, chips and dust on the surface. “We are hopeful that the turf would be ready by August 15. By that time, other works such as installation of water sprinklers and pump house would also be over,” said divisional head (Bhubaneswar construction division) of Idco Manas Mohanty. The synthetic material, required to make the surface for the second turf, has reached the city from Germany.

Though the Idco officials agreed that the work of the second turf was running 10 days behind the scheduled deadline, they were hopeful that the ground would be ready for laying of synthetic turf before rains reached the state.

Besides, Idco has also finished ground-levelling of the barren land between two turfs — which would be used as a parking lot during the tournament. As many as eight teams, including India, would take part in the tournament.

However, the construction of an additional gallery for the main stadium would be built later. It would raise the capacity of viewers from the existing 7,000 to 10,000. With this seating capacity, the city could host matches of the next Hockey World Cup. India would host the 2018 World Cup.

The stadium had hosted five matches for its home team Kalinga Lancers during the second edition of Hockey India League. The colour of second practice surface to be laid inside the stadium would be blue (playing area) and pink (non-playing area) similar to the existing main turf.