Patna, Aug. 2: Bihar has set its eyes on its offshoot Jharkhand to construct a world-class cricket stadium.
The state government, which intends to build a stadium in Rajgir, has contacted the office-bearers of the Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA), requesting them to provide details about the firms, which played an important role in the construction of the state-of-the-art stadium in Ranchi.
“While the renovation at Moinul Haque Stadium in Patna will start soon, the state intends to have an international-standard cricket stadium. It has been 18 years since Bihar hosted an international cricket match. Jharkhand, carved out of Bihar in 2000, has a full-fledged international stadium. Several matches, including international-level ones, have already been played there,” Vinay Bihari, minister of arts, culture and youth affairs department, told The Telegraph.
The department has identified land for the stadium in Rajgir, around 100km from Patna. Around 45 acres near the Tilkhi panchayat of Rajgir has been earmarked for construction of the stadium. “We want to spend around Rs 200 crore for the project. However, the details of land and project cost will be finalised soon and made public,” Vinay added.
Earlier, Vinay said they had contacted officials of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), who had asked them to first create a proper sports infrastructure in the state.
“The state government has floated tenders to find a consultant for the international cricket stadium project. In addition to this, we have contacted the JSCA and requested them to provide us with the know-how and contacts of firms, which played an important part in construction of their stadium in Ranchi. We have contacted Amitabh Choudhary, chairman, JSCA, and he had promised help and support,” Vinay added.
“The renovation of the Moinul Haque Stadium can be said to be an immediate plan in a bid to start international matches in Bihar again. The renovation work will begin in the next two months and the detailed project report regarding the same has been prepared. If we get proper help from Jharkhand and also some other states, which have international cricket stadiums, Bihar too is expected to see a world-class stadium in the near future,” he said.
The JSCA stadium in Ranchi is located in the Mecon area and has been built at a cost of Rs 180 crore (approximately).
The stadium is built across 35 acres and has a capacity to accommodate around 40,000 spectators. The construction started in 2011 and the formal inauguration of the stadium was held in January last year.
The ground has been a host to international Twenty20 tournaments as well as one-day internationals in just a year’s time.
Manoj Kumar, spokesperson, JSCA, said they had appointed Ranchi-based Mecon as consultants for the project. “Mecon is a public sector undertaking under the Union steel ministry. After consulting and approval of the state government, they appointed Delhi-based Kothari Associates as architects. Later, Jharkhand-based Ram Kripal Singh and Sons, a construction company, executed the project. I do not have information about talks with the Bihar government or our chairman,” he said.
Amitabh Choudhary was unavailable for comments.