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Mrunal Manmay Dash

Odisha cabinet on Monday approved the State Sports Infrastructure Development Project worth Rs 693.35 Crore under which a total of 89 multipurpose indoor stadiums will be built across the State.

The project will be completed in a decided time frame of 18 months.

In a press release following the cabinet briefing, the State Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mohapatra said that the government has put a special focus on sports and the development of related infrastructure. The blueprint of the project has been prepared after due consultation with public representatives and sportspersons.

The stadiums will be used for multiple sports including badminton, table tennis, weight lifting and other activities like yoga and exercise sessions. It will also be used for local sports popular in their respective areas.

Apart from this, the stadiums will be designed to withstand a wind speed of up to 200 kmph. In the event of natural calamities like flood, cyclone, the stadiums will be used as cyclone shelter points. During the pandemic, the stadiums under Notified Area Councils (NAC) will be turned into 50-bedded hospitals and the ones under Municipal areas will turn into 100-bedded hospitals.

The press release further stated that the proposed stadiums will also be used in training purposes, meetings and conduct of various examinations.

It is worth mentioning that the State government has earlier taken a number of initiatives for the promotion of sports in the State, hockey in particular which earned laurels across the globe for India men’s and woman’s teams spectacular performance in the recently concluded Olympics at Tokyo. The teams are sponsored by the Odisha government since 2011 after Sahara withdrew the endorsement.

The state of the art Birsa Munda stadium, which is currently under construction in the Steel City of Rourkela is going to be a venue for the next edition of World Cup Hockey in 2023, apart from the Kalinga stadium in Bhubaneswar.

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