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With the setting up of high-performance centres and world-class sports infrastructure, Odisha has emerged as one of the international sports destinations, Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal said here on Tuesday.
Addressing the Odisha assembly, the Governor said Bhubaneswar was the co-host venue for FIFA Under-17 Women's World Cup India, 2022. It gave a major boost to the game of football in the state. To promote football among children, over 43,000 footballs were distributed to schools across the state, he said.
The state government has hosted the FIH Men's Hockey World Cup twice in a row. The last edition of the Men's Hockey World Cup which was held in both Bhubaneswar and Rourkela also saw the construction of world's largest fully seated Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium with 20,000 seating capacity along with other infrastructural facilities within a record 15 months, Lal pointed out.
To further boost infrastructure in the hockey heartland and nurture talent from the grassroot level, he said, 20 hockey training centres with synthetic turf are being constructed.
"My government's effort has transformed the state's sports infrastructure to nurture champions for tomorrow and promote sports in a big way," the Governor further said.
It is heartening to see players and visitors from around the globe coming to the state to celebrate their favourite sports and make their stay in Odisha memorable with the hospitality, he added.
On development of state-of-art tourism infrastructure, Lal said his government has taken up integrated master planning of 16 priority destinations. Additionally, 69 tourist destinations have also been identified in the interior parts of the state for development of scenic spots at less explored locations with focus on provision of basic amenities and facilities, he said.
He said the state government has allocated more than 5 per cent of GSDP during 2022-23 for continued thrust on creating quality infrastructure.
Odisha has set up more than 5 lakh MSMEs with more than Rs 24,341 crore investment, said the Governor, adding, "Our state is now ranked No.1 with lowest unemployment rate in the country with a score of 0.9 per cent, as per the report of the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy."
Besides, the state government has taken up cyclone resilient saline embankment project for raising and strengthening of 199 km of saline embankment at an estimated cost of Rs 763 crore in coastal districts of Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapara and Puri, he added.