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Stadium check in World Cup run-up

Facilities in place, but need spruce-up
Pavements near the Salt Lake stadium that were freed of encroachers before the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2017.
Pavements near the Salt Lake stadium that were freed of encroachers before the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2017.
Picture by Gautam Bose

Snehal Sengupta   |   Calcutta   |   Published 28.11.19, 07:53 PM

A FIFA team inspected the Salt Lake stadium, one of the venues for the 2020 U-17 women’s World Cup, and its surroundings and suggested a few infrastructure changes and removal of encroachments from sidewalks.

The eight-member team comprised officials of the local organising committee (LOC) of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.

“This stadium has already hosted a FIFA U-17 World Cup, so the core infrastructure is in place. We want to ensure that we provide the best possible facilities and environment for FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2020,” a member of the committee said.

Besides inspecting the main ground, the team also checked the access routes to the stadium and the gates, an official said.

The walkways had been paved with red and black interlocking blocks and a few new ones built around the stadium in the run-up to the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2017. But the paver blocks have come loose in some places.

The Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation had ensured that the walkways remained free of encroachment. Several hawkers have since returned and set up makeshift shops.

FIFA rules mandate that pedestrian spaces near the match venue remain free. “The FIFA rulebook spells out several measures, including keeping pavements free from encroachments for easy pedestrian movement and clearly demarcated pedestrian crossover points,” said an official of the youth services and sports department.

The infrastructure outside the stadium, too, needs some sprucing up, the official said.

There are two pedestrian subways near the stadium — one under the EM Bypass next to the SAI Complex and another at the Hyatt-Bypass crossing. But one has a leaking roof and the escalators do not function in the other.

The Broadway is dotted with potholes and the landscaped median divider has gaps in the fencing. Some street lights have stopped working.

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