Howrah Indoor Stadium set for major transformation as part of Sports City project
The Times of India has reported that the Howrah Indoor Stadium will be brought back to life as part of the ‘Sports City’ project that Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee, announced a little over a year ago. Work on the project is in fact already underway, with the stadium to be completely reimagined and redeveloped to meet with international indoor sporting requirements.
Built in the 1980s, the Howrah Indoor Stadium was originally planned as an indoor venue to host sporting activities only and was therefore designed using the Netaji Indoor Stadium as a template. However, after construction was completed on the stadium and two state-level indoor matches were held there, defects in the construction of its galleries and floor meant that the Howrah Improvement Trust was forced to hand the facility over to the Howrah Municipal Corporation (HMC) who used the venue as a non-sporting commercial entity, which saw it become the backdrop for reality TV shows and cultural events.
Speaking about the latest developments, Howrah Mayor, Rathin Chakraborty, said:
After the state declared Dumurjala a ‘Sports City’, I proposed to the CM the indoor stadium should be developed into an indoor sports complex that could be even better than Netaji Indoor. HMC would rebuild and maintain the facility. The CM immediately welcomed the idea of having such a sporting facility close to Na banna. She asked state sports and youth affairs minister Aroop Biswas to go through the proposal. Soon after, a grant of Rs 18 crore reached HMC from the sports and youth affairs department for the project. HMC then got the detailed project report (DPR) prepared by a Howrah-based consultant and a tender was floated for the project.
Director, Ajoy Ray, confirmed:
The design for the stadium being rebuilt has been prepared by the town and country planning department of IIEST, Shibpur.
HMC’s advisor on the project, Ramratan Chowdhury, added:
The seating capacity of the indoor stadium will be increased to 6,000 from 3,000 at present. The 50,000sqft stadium will be centrally air-conditioned. Part of its floor will be made of teak and the other part of synthetic wood. Most international stadia now have floors of synthetic wood. Besides, it will have two dressing rooms, a power room and a commentary box. The stadium premises will also have a guesthouse.
Cricketer-turned Minister of State for Sports in the state, Laxmi Ratan Shukla, said:
Under the CM’s direction, local, national and international sporting events will be held at the stadium when it’s re-built. Besides, the stadium complex will have training facilities in various indoor games, including volleyball and basketball. It will be used only for sports and training sportspersons. This will be a marked departure from its use under Left rule when only cultural and TV reality shows were staged but never any sporting event.
With a government grant of US$2.7m, work has already commenced on a complete transformation of the Howrah Indoor Stadium, the design for which has been prepared by the country planning department of the Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST), based in Shibpur, West Bengal.
Image source: http://www.coliseum-online.com/indoor-stadium-near-india-kolkata-city/
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