Emerging Kerala: Inclusion of Indoor Stadium project raises eyebrows
By Express News Service - KOZHIKODE
06th September 2012 09:40 AM
The controversies over the ‘Emerging Kerala’ have spilt on to Kozhikode also, with sports authorities and public representatives crying foul over the inclusion of the Chevayur Indoor Stadium project in the investors’ meet.
The stadium was first proposed as one of the sites for the National Games in the district and a suitable design had been drafted for the project. Public representatives led by A Pradeepkumar MLA found the design unsatisfactory and held talks with the sports minister and the sports secretary before settling on a different design which called for a world class stadium.
Then, Finance Minister K M Mani allotted funds to the project as part of the National Games allocation in his budget and state sports authorities decided to move forward on the design.
But now the project has cropped up on list of proposals listed on the ‘Emerging Kerala’ website with a completely different design and budget. And to add insult to injury, the proposal also has plans to use the centre as a marriage hall and a convention centre when it is not hosting a sporting event, an idea which does not find much favour with those who dream of a world class complex dedicated exclusively to sports. A Pradeepkumar MLA, who was instrumental in the conception of the stadium, was among the first to voice his protests.
“The design is nothing like what we had arrived at after months of negotiation and planning. What right does the District Industries Centre, which has drafted the proposal, to interfere in a project that is being executed by the Sports and Youth Affairs Department? And the proposal that the stadium be used for marriage parties and conventions is unacceptable as a world class turf and pools cannot be maintained by hosting such events part time,” he said. Sports and Youth Affairs secretary M Sivasankar confirmed that no consultations had been held with his department before the project was included in ‘Emerging Kerala’. “I have no idea about the project’s role in ‘Emerging Kerala’ and nobody has held any discussions with us. But we have a project and a design and we will move forward with it on our own,” he said. He also added that the design for the project was done by architect Tony Kuriakkad.
The proposal drafted by the District Industries Centre however contains a different design by architects N M Salim and Associates.
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