Cranes lifting heavy material, dusty roads leading to construction sites, people in protective jackets and helmets doing their jobs amid piles of sand and cement scattered everywhere. There are numerous signs that the construction of the largest hockey stadium in the country is in full swing. In January next year, the Birsa Munda International Hockey Stadium in the Sundargarh-dominated Sundagarh district will be packed during the FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup.
As many as 20,000 fans will cheer for the Indian hockey team, which is high on success at the Tokyo Olympics and which will strive not only to improve on the 2018 quarter-final goal in the Bhubaneswar edition, but also to win the top event. Work on the stadium on the outskirts of Rourkel began in June last year and is going on day and night as officials struggle to complete it on time. It usually takes about 18-24 months to build a stadium of this size. “But we designed and planned it in such a way that we can save time in engineering and the conventional part of construction,” said Swagat Singh, an infrastructure consultant for the Sports Department.
The executive agency of the 200 crore stadium is the Odyssey Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation and has sublet the works to Larsen and Toubro. Accommodation of 80 million kuna near the training ground is being done by another contractor, and his deadline is October, the official said. The 35-hectare site includes a stadium and accommodation within the 120-hectare campus of Biju Patnaik University of Technology. “It is the largest hockey stadium in India. We also assume it is the largest in the world, but we have not yet received that confirmation from the FIH,” he told a group of reporters at the site, 293km northwest of the capital Bhubaneswar.
Singh exuded confidence that the job would be completed on time by August. “Almost 50-60 percent of the work is done,” he told PTI. The number of workers is about 400. Casting is done at night, and preparatory work in the morning due to the high heat of recent weeks. By the end of this month, the complete shell will be ready. After the skeletal structure is finished, the workers will start giving the final touch. There are many USPs of this project, one of which is that the stadium is adapted for people with disabilities. “There are more spotlights in other stadiums, but we are integrating it into the building itself to win it has damaged the aesthetics,” Singh said.
The Colosseum-like structure is continuous, making it more functional in terms of viewing. Singh pointed out that a clear image will be obtained without any block of vision no matter what gallery or at what angle the viewer is sitting. The playing field has more room to leak, the official said, expressing hope that it will host many World Cup matches, the schedule of which has yet to be made. There will be a light projection, and the facade is designed in a way to integrate the cultural aspects of the region. “Wall art and murals will also be there. It will be a blend of culture and heritage,” Singh said.
Just like the Hollywood sign on Mount Lee in Los Angeles, the administration planned to write Rourkel on the lush green and picturesque Durgapur hills, which overlook and pass over one side of the stadium. “But there are some technical issues and stability issues,” additional district judge Subhankar Mohapatra said. “We’re still trying.” Before the World Cup, the Fédération Internationale de Hockey (FIH) will confirm whether it has met all the standards. He reported that they plan to hold the Pro League in late October which will be a trial. After the World Cup, the government is considering remodeling the entire complex into an academy to keep it a benchmark.
Sundargarh is considered the cradle of Indian hockey who created such as Dilip Tirkey, Amit Rohidas and Birendra Lakra. From children to the elderly, there is a great craze for sports in the region. That’s why the state government wanted to have an imprint in the district because they wanted to donate it to the local population, Singh pointed out. “A lot of kids here prefer to hold a hockey stick instead of a cricket stick.”