Odisha government is moving into top gear to set global benchmarks for the upcoming FIH Men's Hockey World Cup tournament in 2023.
The state is hosting the event for the second time in a row after its massive success in Hockey Men's World Cup of 2018. The Asian Athletics Championship in 2017 was also a resounding success.
To ensure that the marquee event is even bigger and better than its previous edition, the Odisha Chief Minister's Office (CMO) held a meeting here on Monday with top govt officials, including Chief Secretary, Suresh Mahapatra, Private Secretary to Chief Minister (5T) V.K. Pandian, Principal Secretaries and heads of different Departments. Others from Cuttack and Rourkela administration joined in through Video Conferencing.
Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra emphasised on the challenges of the event as it will be held in two cities at the same time. But, he added, the state administration is confident of ensuring a smooth, successful and memorable world cup for players, officials, fans and spectators.
"We are eagerly looking forward to welcoming the top teams of the world. There are certain areas that need special attention and we will be reviewing the development periodically," he stressed.
Different government departments have worked seamlessly and efficiently and executed an exceptional event in 2018 that made a global impact on Odisha's image, and the same has been asked of them for this edition.
In fact, the state is hoping to better the last by adding new aspects to draw in more crowds, engage fans and also positively impress the visiting tourists, the chief secretary added.
Private Secretary to Chief Minister (5T), V. K. Pandiyan, said that it is a matter of great pride that Odisha has got the opportunity to host the consecutive edition of the Men' Hockey World Cup that too at two different venues.
"This has never happened before and we should be extremely proud of this. Odisha has set a benchmark in hosting international events," he said.
Pandian further said that the Chief Minister has directed to use this world cup as an opportunity to showcase not only Odisha's capability as a remarkable host but also the art, culture and heritage of the state.
He encouraged all department heads to come together and ensure players and fans have a memorable experience and return as brand ambassadors.
Sports secretary, R. Vineel Krishna said that the construction of the infrastructure and facilities in co-host city, Rourkela, is going on in full swing and the development is being monitored closely and will be ready in the coming months.
Other aspects related to upgradation and beautification of Rourkela have also been keenly taken up by the district administration. In Bhubaneswar, the new turfs have been laid at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium a few months back and is match ready.
For smooth and successful hosting of the sporting event at both venues, requirements, roles and responsibilities for different areas including security, fire safety, transport, connectivity, accommodation, tourism, information & technology, finance, public works amongst others were discussed at the meeting.