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CM announces Rs 20 cr for int'l hockey stadium, Rs 1K pension for retired players of state

CM announces Rs 20 cr for intl hockey stadium, Rs 1K pension for retired players of state
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Kolkata: After ensuring financial assistance to 26,000 local clubs in the past three years, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday provided financial assistance worth Rs 82.89 crore to 8,289 clubs and also announced monthly pension for at least 2,000 retired players.

The Chief Minister Mamata also announced a Rs 20 crore grant for the upcoming international hockey stadium inside the Salt Lake Stadium Complex. The 6,500-capacity stadium, to be spread over an area of approximately three acres, is proposed to be built near gate number one of the Salt Lake Stadium and is likely to come up within a year.

"I'm hereby granting Rs 20 crore for the hockey astro-turf," Banerjee said at the Khelashree programme, an annual felicitation of the state's sportspersons, at the Netaji Indoor Stadium here. She also made a slew of announcements, including a pension scheme of Rs 1,000 for the former sportspersons of the state. "We have about 2,000-plus ex-players who are above 60 years. As a gratitude, I want to announce a state pension scheme for them with Rs 1,000 per month," she said.

Speaking about the assistance given to the clubs she said: "We have provided financial assistance to 26,000 clubs in the past three years and Rs 1 lakh each to 861 sports coaching camps. Today, we are providing financial assistance to more than 8,289 clubs and the state government's investment for the same is Rs 82.89 crore. At the same time we are providing financial assistance of Rs 1 lakh each to 947 sports coaching camps and Rs 5 lakh each to 34 sports associations." Banerjee also directed the Chief Secretary to develop a mechanism so that players get priority in terms of getting jobs in the state government.

She also directed the state Sports minister Aroop Biswas to take up a new project to fund 100 selected upcoming players to ensure they can reach to the national and international level. She said that the state government would only fund their trip to different places to participate in any crucial events.

Banerjee also took a dig at the Opposition as they raised questions for providing financial assistance to local clubs. Banerjee on Monday also handed over Khel Samman to 16 players, 26 players were conferred with "Banglar Gourab" award and seven coaches received "Krira Guru Samman".

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