Chief Minister announces creation of a special zone involving the project site

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Tuesday lauded the Sports Department and the National Games Secretariat for developing a unique model for the construction of the new International stadium at the Kerala University campus in Kariyavattom.

Inaugurating the construction work of the 50,000-seater stadium being built in connection with the 35th National Games, the Chief Minister said it was a model worth emulating and would go a long way in redefining the development initiatives of the State.

Laid-back at home

“Keralites, as a whole, strive hard to leave their indelible mark behind when they are on job assignments abroad, but have a rather laid back approach to the development initiatives undertaken within the State.

“Likewise, we have very few success models when it comes to initiatives involving public-private partnerships. The only exception is the Cochin International Airport project, undertaken when late K. Karunakaran was the Chief Minister.

“Being the first of its kind in the world, it had drawn praise from all quarters and international attention.

“Similarly, the new stadium, being the first of its kind to be constructed on annuity basis, will provide not only a boost to sporting activities within the State but also in the country as a whole.”

The Chief Minister, referring to a point raised by Sports Minister K.B. Ganesh Kumar in his presidential address, was quick to announce the creation of a special zone involving the project site to tackle problems relating to labour unrest.

“Formal orders will be issued after the meeting of the Cabinet on Wednesday itself.

“If the Labour Minister (Shibu Baby John) is not present at tomorrow's (Wednesday's) meeting, the issue will be cleared by the State Cabinet on May 16.

“But the Sports Department should stick to its word that the work on the stadium will be completed within the next 18 months, as promised.”

Happiest Day

Mr. Ganesh Kumar said it was one of the happiest days in his life.

“We have been able to reach this point without creating any controversy and ensuring total transparency. We hope to continue in the same vein and conduct the Games in a befitting manner.”

Education Minister P.K. Abdu Rabb, MLA M.V. Abdul Wahab, Kerala University Vice-Chancellor A. Jayakrishnan, Sports Secretary M. Sivasankaran, Thiruvananthapuram District Panchayat President Ramani P. Nair, KSSC President Padmini Thomas, and the NGS CEO and Secretary Amit Mallick also spoke.