The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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New astro-turf by March 31

Calcutta: The city’s wait for a new astro-turf might just be over very soon. The Union Sports ministry has promised the SAI, Eastern Centre that the new turf will be laid out this financial year itself.

The current astro-turf at SAI is lying defunct with no activity possible. Making the announcement, Rajiva Srivastava, secretary of the youth affairs and sports ministry, said: “The ministry has sanctioned it and the work should start pretty soon.”

“In fact, it’ll be in place in this financial year,” the officer, who was in the city to lay the foundation stone of the swimming pool at the SAI, said.

Meanwhile, the government has earmarked football and swimming as the two disciplines which will receive attention in Bengal. “Bengal has the talent in football and swimming. We’ll try to scout the best and have them at the SAI for proper grooming,” Srivastava added.

While football’s Centre for Excellence has already started, a similar project in swimming is not far away.

“Now that the foundation stone has been laid, the work should start very soon. Once the ball starts rolling, it will take about 15 months to complete,” the East Zone director of the SAI, G. Kishore said. He informed that not only swimmers attached to the SAI, but others who have the qualification, will be able to practice at the pool.

A similar scheme in archery will be taken up in the north eastern states and Jharkhand. “We plan to assemble the best talent at the Hazaribagh SAI, which will start very soon,” Srivastava said.

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