To develop infrastructure for hosting more sporting events in the city, the West Bengal government will allot plots for a new cricket stadium, football academy and an indoor stadium.
At the Khel Ratna Samman ceremony, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said they are ready to give land to the CAB (Cricket Association of Bengal) to develop a cricket stadium in Rajarhat.
“I will give you (CAB) land, you prepare the stadium. One stadium (Eden Gardens) is not enough. With another stadium we will be able to host more sporting events,” she said adding that ISL franchisee Atletico de Kolkata (ATK) wants to establish a football academy in the city for which they are giving them some land in Dumdum area.
“I want them to nurture local talent in soccer. Take five clubs from Kolkata and five from the districts and nurture them. You spend so much money in ISL I want you to spend something for Bengal,” Banerjee said.
Besides, the state government also has plans to set up a new indoor stadium at a 20 acre plot in Rajarhat with a capacity of 20,000, she said.
On the Sports Village in Jalpaiguri district she said it will be of international standards but sought the support of the corporate sector in running it under a PPP (public private partnership) model.
“We have made the infrastructure and now if the corporates run it we are ready to extend all co-operation. They can take over and run this,” Banerjee said.
The Chief Minister also stressed on the need to have sports school so that football stars like Messi can be produced from the state.
“A committee with experts and corporates will identify which sports needs to be promoted and in what way. We want to nurture talent,” she said. Altogether she said there are 26 new stadiums which are coming up in different parts of the state.
Kolkata has been selected as one of the venues for the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
The Chief Minister also announced that around 6000 clubs which had received a grant of Rs 2 lakh earlier will be given Rs 1 lakh for the next three years. During the award ceremony, veteran footballer P K Banerjee and veteran tennis player Akhtar Ali was honoured with lifetime achievement award by the state government.
Another 31 sportspersons were awarded ‘Khel Ratna Samman’ and 11 coaches given ‘Krira Guru Samman’.