March 19, 2016
New horizons in sports infrastructure in Bengal
The Trinamool Congress Government has done a lot to improve the sporting infrastructure in West Bengal.
Plan Expenditure for the department out of State Budget has increased from Rs 103.97 crore during 2007-2011 to Rs 349.43 crore during 2011-2015. This has led to a big improvement in infrastructure like stadiums, swimming pools, etc. and has also encouraged sportspersons to give off their best.
Infrastructural work completed
- Upgrading of Jhargram Stadium, Salboni Stadium and Gorkha Stadium in Lebong
- Floodlighting of Kanchenjungha Stadium in Siliguri, putting up new floodlights at Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan, Purulia Sports Hostel, Medinipur Swimming Club and Subhas Sarobar Swimming Pool
- Improvement of East Bengal, Mohun Bagan and Md Sporting club grounds
Ongoing infrastructural work
- Upgrading of stadiums in Krishnanagar, Suri, Uluberia, Kanthi (Arabinda Stadium), Tamluk (Rakhal Memorial Stadium), Purulia (Mini Indoor stadium), Malda (DSA Stadium), Balurghat, Diamond Harbour and Gangrampur, sports hostel in Purulia, Jhargram Sports Academy, and Khatra Sports Academy nearing completion
- Construction of stadiums in Bhatar, Nayagram, Naihati, Barrackpore and Balurghat (indoor stadium) to start soon
- Construction of swimming pools in Canning and Barijhati (Hooghly), and of state-of-the-art diving pool at Subhash Sarobar, Kolkata
- All the stadiums/sports facilities in Kolkata like Netaji Indoor Stadium, Rabindra Sarobar Stadium, Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan (VYBK), Subhas Sarobar swimming pool and Kishore Bharati Stadium have been taken up for major upgradation and modernisation.
- More specifically, renovation and upgradation for VYBK includes installation of 25,000 plastic bucket seats, improvement of drainage and toilets, construction of two dressing rooms of international standard and refurbishment of the gymnasium. In keeping with the requirements for organising the Under-17 FIFA World Cup, the artificial turf at VYBK is being replaced with a natural grass turf and two practice grounds of similar standards have also been sanctioned. Sanction has also been granted for the replacement of the synthetic athletic track with one of international standard.
- Khel Samman Awards (under four categories, viz., Lifetime Achievement Award, Krira Guru Award, Banglar Gourav Award, Khel Samman Award) have been conferred consecutively since 2013.
Sports promotion activities
- District Sports Councils and Sub-Divisional Sports Councils have been reconstituted and funds have been released for them
- Clubs/NGOs provided grants for the development and promotion of sports, up from 2,486 during 2007-2011 to 20,380 during 2011-2015
- Non-residential coaching camps for table tennis, gymnastics, badminton and karate at Khudiram Anushilan Kendra and for volleyball and kho kho at Yuva Bharati Krirangan
- Residential Football Academy running in Khardah since June 2014
- In order to promote and popularise sports in far-flung and backward areas, Jangalmahal Cup, Himal Terai Dooars Cup and Sundarban Cup are regularly organised, involving local clubs and the youth.
- North Bengal Board for Development of Sports & Games has been constituted under the Chairmanship of eminent footballer, Baichung Bhutia to promote sports activities and monitor infrastructure development schemes in the seven districts of north Bengal.
- Swimming Academy at Subhas Sarobar Swimming Pool, Beleghata, Kolkata, Archery and Volleyball Academy in Jhargram, Gymnastics Academy in Purulia
- Artificial turf at VYBK to be replaced with a natural grass turf
- Nearly 8000 club/organisations/associations to be given grants for improvement of sporting infrastructure
- Scheme for financial support to recognised sports associations, to provide support for district-level coaching, establishment of nurseries and organising state and national-level sports competitions
- Board, consisting of eminent sports personalities, for identification of budding and promising sportspersons
- A new Sports Policy declared for giving further impetus to the development and promotion of sports in the state and also for giving incentives to sportspersons
- Creation/ renovation/ modernisation of sports infrastructure in all the districts will be continued
Over Rs 100 crore has been sanctioned for upgrading stadiums, swimming pools, etc. A lot of clubs and other sporting organisations are getting financial help to improve sports in their local areas. Sportspersons have got a big boost in these five years. The sporting culture of West Bengal has really improved.