2023 Hockey World Cup co-hosts Rourkela will get a Rs 600 crore development facelift as part of the Smart City programme. Odisha's Sports Director Vineel Krishna has confirmed that most of the development costs will be covered by corporate companies, instead of using taxpayer money.
The Indian state of Odisha is keen to ensure a special place on the list of sporting venues after the FIH awarded India the hosting rights of the men's World Cup for a second straight edition. In 2018, Odisha reportedly spent around Rs 200 crore, but that will become a distant second to Rourkela, where the spending is expected to rise well over Rs 600 crore.
The key part of the development plan is part of Odisha government’s marquee Smart City programme, with the development of airports at Jharsuguda, Jeypore, Utkela and Rourkela are expected to cost around Rs 150 crore.
"The stadium that will host the world cup matches belongs to Rourkela Steel Plant. We have already written to them for upgrading the stadium to FIH standards. The practice pitch is about a kilometre and a half away from the main stadium and that will also be upgraded to FIH standards," Odisha's commissioner-cum-secretary for sports and tourism Vishal Dev told Timesofindia.com.
"Rourkela has been included under the UDAN scheme and hopefully by 2023, the airport at Rourkela will be operational with scheduled commercial flights. In any case, the infrastructure at that side of the state is brilliant and once we have air connectivity between Rourkela and Bhubaneswar, things will be very smooth," Dev said.
Meanwhile, Krishna has assured that it's the corporate sector that's bearing most of the burden of expenses.
"We have been fortunate to get substantial corporate support for hosting major tournaments and therefore, we haven’t taken a lot of money from the government exchequer," Krishna said.
"It's not that the government has spent a huge amount of money. It's the corporate (sector) also that has come forward for the same. We really haven’t come across any opposition with regards to Odisha hosting sporting events, that gets the state a lot of visibility and at the same time promote tourism in the state," Krishna added.
Cricket FootBall Kabaddi