Odisha to develop play grounds in 6236 gram panchayats

Bhubaneswar: In its bid to encourage sports, Odisha government today decided to develop play grounds in 6236 gram panchayats and one swimming complex in each of the 30 district headquarters.

A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik who reviewed the performance of the sports and youth affairs department on completion of the first year of his fourth term in office.

Sports Minister Sudam Marandi said an amount of Rs 5 lakh each would be spent on development of every play ground in gram panchayat level, while a decision has also been taken to set up centre of excellence for promoting disciplines like hockey and archery.

While the state government had earlier decided to set up a mini-stadium in each block in Odisha, the chief minister this time asked the sports and youth affairs department for setting up swimming pool in each district headquarters town.

Marandi further said approval has been given for construction of swimming pool at the district headquarters of Boudh, Mayurbhanj, Jajpur, Ganjam (Berhampur), Subarnapur in the first phase.

“Approval has also been accorded for renovation of existing Jhasakaten Sahu Swimming Pool Complex at Sambalpur, which is underway,” the Minister said.

Marandi said the department has already developed a world class hockey complex conforming to the norms of International Hockey Federation here at Kalinga Stadium Sports Complex. .

The hockey complex with two synthetic turfs had successfully hosted the FIH 8?Nation Champions Trophy Hockey Tournament from December 6-14 last year, thus putting Bhubaneswar and Odisha on international sporting map.

The venue was also chosen to host the Indo?Japan Hockey Test Series held from May 3-9.

The state government has launched a scheme for direct appointment of meritorious sportspersons in Group “B” and Group “C” posts of Odisha Police depending on their degree.

Under the scheme, 31 meritorious sportspersons were directly appointed to the Odisha police in the first phase on April 30 at a function attended by Chief Minister.

A total amount of Rs. 2.59 crore has been given to 365 sportspersons during 2014-15.