Odisha Govt Push For Men’s Hockey World Cup

Chief Secretary Sri Aditya Prasad Padhi reviewing the progress of preparations for Men`s Hockey World Cup -2018
Photograph: Ashok Panda

Bhubaneswar: With the 14th Men’s Hockey World Cup to be hosted in Odisha for the first time, the state government is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the mega event is organised smoothly.

The event will begin at Kalinga Stadium here on November 28 and conclude on December 16.

Reviewing the preparations for the event at the 3rd Executive Committee meeting at the State Secretariat here on Tuesday, Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi set timelines for completion of each project work for the mega event.

He directed the Home department to make detail traffic movement plans keeping in view the convenience of the city dwellers and visitors and issue traffic advisories much before commencement of the event to enable people make their own movement plans.

Present at the meeting, Development Commissioner R Balakrishnan advised the concerned departments to align the programmes of cultural extravaganza and showcasing of Odisha handloom and textiles alongside the event.

It was further decided to tinge the cultural programmes with performing art of various states and countries.

Issues relating to renovation of stadium for additional sitting facility, construction of new swimming pool, water filtration plant, construction and widening of new internal roads in Kalinga Stadium, preparation of the accommodation plan, detail catering plan of the players and officials, travel and local transportation, traffic and security were discussed in the meeting.

It was decided that the construction of east, north and south galleries would be completed by May 31, swimming pool by March 31 and water filtration plant for both the pitches by May 20.

Secretary Sports & Youth Services Vishal Kumar Dev informed that IDCO has set up a dedicated engineering unit for expeditious execution of the infrastructural projects in the stadium.

Chief Secretary Sri Padhi directed Works department to complete construction and widening of internal roads, drain, food plaza etc by May.

Principal Secretary Tourism Dr Mona Sharma appraised that so far an inventory of 412 hotels in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Puri was prepared for accommodation of players and visitors. Around 78 rooms of PSUs, technical colleges, corporation guest houses have also been identified. Around 8600 beds have been made available for online booking for the ensuing World Cup. Other inventories are being made. The land allottees of newly coming up hotels on Bhubaneswar have been asked to complete their hotels before the World Cup and make it available for the visitors and guests.

Briefing media persons after the meeting, Dev said the teams from 16 countries would participate in the World Cup and while matches would be played in 4 pools.

The countries namely Argentina, New Zealand, Spain and France would be in Pool-A, Australia, England, Ireland and China would be in Pool-B, Belgium, India , Canada, and South Africa would be in Pool-C; and Netherlands, Germany, Malaysia and Pakistan would be in Pool-D.

Each day two matches would be played from 5 PM onwards. The quarterfinals would be played on December 12 and 13 while the semi-finals and the final match would be held on December 15 and 16 respectively, Dev added.

Among others, Chief Executive of Hockey India League (HIL) Ms Elena Norman, Principal Secretary Finance Tuhin Kanta Pandey , Principal Secretary, Tourism, Mona Sharama, Secretary, Works Nalini Kanta Pradhan,  Secretary, Handloom & Textiles Subha Sharma , Municipal Commissioner, BMC, Krishan Kumar  along with other senior officers from concerned departments were present at the meeting.

It may be mentioned that for the third time India is going to organize the prestigious Men’s World Cup with Odisha getting the opportunity to host the mega event it for the first time. India had hosted Hockey World Cup for the first time in Mumbai in 1982 and in New Delhi in 2010.