Odisha to have 100 new mini stadiums by June

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has decided to construct 200 new urban mini stadiums in the state of which 100 are targeted for completion by June this year.

Presiding over a review meeting on the status of the Sports and Youth Services department at the State Secretariat here on Thursday, chief minister Naveen Patnaik directed the department to complete the construction of 100 urban mini stadiums in the first phase by June.

Briefing newsmen after the meeting, Secretary, Sports and Youth Services, Saswat Mishra said the state government has started the mini stadium scheme since 2013-14.

“The scheme envisaged an expenditure of Rs 25 lakh for construction of a mini stadium with a contribution of Rs 10 lakh each by the Sports and Youth Services department and from the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) funds and Rs 5 lakh from the MLALAD and MPLAD funds. As there was uncertainty in getting NREGS funds at the outset, the mode of allocation has been revised under which the Sports and Youth Services department will contribute Rs 20 lakh while the remaining Rs 5 lakh would be sourced from the MLALAD and MPLAD funds,” Mishra said.

He said a decision was taken at the meeting to include some stadiums in urban areas, which need improvement in the next 3-4 months, under the mini stadium scheme

“Out of the 200 mini stadiums sanctioned by the department, the chief minister has directed to complete 100 mini stadiums by June this year,” he added.

Mishra further said there was a provision under the Rajiv Gandhi Paika Yojana for development of a sports ground in each panchayat. But as the Central scheme was closed later, the state government decided to include the provision under the NREGS.

“Under the NREGS, the process for identification and development of the grounds at the panchayat level has already started. Till now, development of 441 grounds at the panchayat level has been completed while work in other grounds is underway. I hope around 1000 panchayat level grounds would be developed by June-July. Efforts are on to make it more extensive in the coming days,” he informed.

Talking to the media, Sports and Youth Services minister Sudam Marandi said it was decided to complete the construction work of 49 mini stadiums by 2013-14. But due to delay in the availability of funds under Centrally sponsored schemes like the NREGS, Backward Region Grant Fund (BRGF) and Integrated Action Plan (IAP), the project work was delayed.

“Despite the delay, four mini stadiums have been completed and 34 stadiums are nearing completion while work on the remaining 11 mini stadiums is yet to begin.

During 2014-15, the department had sanctioned 16 projects of which construction work of nine mini stadiums is almost complete while the work has not started for the remaining seven projects.

“In 2015-16, we have sanctioned 94 projects of which work on 26 mini stadiums has started”, he said.