Bhubaneswar: Chief minister Naveen Patnaik Thursday visited the Kalinga Stadium and reviewed the progress of the major sports infrastructure projects ongoing within its premises, particularly the indoor aquatic centre, which once complete, will be an iconic facility for Swimmers. In addition, the Indoor Athletics Stadium, will be the first such facility in India. The projects are on track and scheduled to be completed in a year.

Chief Minister expressed his satisfaction on the progress of ongoing construction and said, ,” These are land mark sports infrastructure which will make Kalinga Stadium as the leading destination in various sports. “

He was accompanied by Minister for Sports & Youth Services, Tusharkanti Behera, Development Commissioner, P. K. Jena, Secretary to CM (5T), V.K.Pandian, Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Sports and Youth Services Department, R. Vineel Krishna, and officials of the State Sports Department.

During this visit, Chief Minister inaugurated five sports infrastructure facilities and laid the foundation stone for 89 multipurpose indoor hall.

The projects inaugurated include the Biju Patnaik Weightlifting Hall and a new sports hostel at the Kalinga stadium, a swimming pool each in Angul and Baripada and the indoor stadium in Rourkela.

For the multi-purpose indoor stadiums, land for all the 89 locations has been identified. Tender process has been initiated for 87 locations and work is expected to start shortly in about 50 locations where the tender has been finalised. It is expected that all the indoor stadium will start functioning in 2022-23.

These multipurpose indoor stadiums will have facilities for badminton, table tennis, weightlifting and can be used as disaster shelters and hospitals during disaster and pandemic like situations.

All these projects will give an added boost to the ever-evolving sports ecosystem of the state.

Currently, Odisha has promising young lifters who are poised to become strong medal contenders in near future, and having a Weightlifting Hall lead by team of experts and professionals with access to Sports Science facilities will go a long way to amp up their performance. The new Sports hostels and its allied facilities and amenities, within the Kalinga Stadium premises, will ensure a home away from home for the athletes, while they stay focussed on their goal to achieve sporting excellence.

Swimming has ample opportunity for medals and the state is expanding its Swimming ecosystem and is offering Swimming both as a competitive sport and a life skill. The semi Olympic Swimming Pool in Angul and Baripada, led by professional instructors and life guards, will run grassroots programs and will be of benefit to the local talent and the community at large. In the very near future there will be few more launched in other regions.

Rourkela, which is transforming into the second hub of Sports in the state, with India’s largest Hockey Stadium coming up for the Hockey World Cup in 2023, is adding many sports infrastructure to its length and breadth. The inaugurated Indoor Stadium is an added milestone for the smart city and will be a hub for shuttlers of that region.