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Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Tuesday lauded the Sports Department and the National Games Secretariat for developing a unique model for the construction of the new international stadium at the Kerala University campus in Karyavattom.
Inaugurating the construction work of the 50,000-seater stadium being built in connection with the 35th National Games, the Chief Minister said it was a model worth emulating and would go a long way in redefining the development initiatives of the State. Also, the new stadium, being the first of its kind to be constructed on annuity basis, will provide not only a boost to sporting activities within the State but also in the country as a whole.
Designed to the specifications of both the ICC and FIFA, the stadium is a unique public private partnership initiative that aims to bring the world of international sports to the state. The stadium incorporates a range of environmentally friendly initiatives, including extensive use of solar panels, rainwater conservation and a unique construction style which blends with the landscape.
Sports Minister K.B Ganesh Kumar, who was also present, had requested to keep the construction site away from all the hurdles associated with loading and unloading processes, if possible. In response the Chandy said that the site will be declared as a special zone. “As the sports minister requested, I declare the proposed stadium site as a special zone and the matter will be put before the Cabinet tomorrow itself as the timely completion of stadium is important,” he said.
“Formal orders will be issued after the meeting of the Cabinet on Wednesday itself. If the Labour Minister (Shibu Baby John) is not present at tomorrow’s (Wednesday’s) meeting, the issue will be cleared by the State Cabinet on May 16. But the Sports Department should stick to its word that the work on the stadium will be completed within the next 18 months, as promised.”
In his presidential address Mr. Ganesh Kumar said it was one of the happiest days in his life. “We have had multiple bodies checking all aspects of the deal and this will continue throughout the length of the project. In fact a team from the film development corporation is going to film the progress of the entire project and post it on the project website for public to watch”, he said.
Education minister P.K Abdu Rabb said that the fact that the stadium is going to be used years around makes it different from other such projects, “Usually people think of stadiums as dead investments but this is going to be used for one thing or the other throughout the year and that in itself is remarkable,” he said.
MLA M.V. Abdul Wahab, Kerala University Vice-Chancellor A. Jayakrishnan, Sports Secretary M. Sivasankaran, Thiruvananthapuram District Panchayat President Ramani P. Nair, KSSC President Padmini Thomas, and the NGS CEO and Secretary Amit Mallick also spoke.