Pact on new sports hub in Cooch Behar
The Union sports ministry will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the railways next Saturday to build a sports hub on the railway land near the New Cooch Behar station.
Nisith Pramanik, the Cooch Behar MP and Union minister of state for homes and sports, said on Sunday that on May 21, the MoU would be signed and the foundation stone of the hub laid at the site already marked by the railways.
“We had asked for 25 acres from the state government to set up a stateoftheart sports centre for excellence. However, the state didn’t respond to the proposal. Thus, it has been decided that the centre will come up on a parcel of railway land,” Pramanik told this newspaper over the phone.
According to him, the hub will have an Astroturf ground for hockey, synthetic athletic tracks, a football field, and courts and rings for games such as wrestling, taekwondo, badminton, basketball, volleyball, table tennis and archery, and swimming pools.
“There will be airconditioned hostels, a sports research centre and a multipurpose hall. National and international coaches, nutritionists and other experts will train budding players in various fields of sport,” added Pramanik.
He said that the hub would help hone the skills of players in north Bengal districts and the neighbouring Northeast.
Rabindranath Ghosh, former state minister and a state vicepresident of Trinamul, brushed aside Pramanik’s charges of the state government’s silence.
“We don’t think they informed the state government at all about this proposal. We also have serious doubts as to whether any such facility would eventually come up here and suspect this to be yet another ploy of the BJP to dupe Cooch Behar residents,” he said.