Jayalalithaa announces Rs. 40-crore package to renovate Nehru Stadium

Chennai will host the Asian Athletics Championship in August 2013, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said on Thursday and announced a Rs 40-crore package to renovate the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium here and relay its track and upgrade facilities to bring them on a par with international standards.

Making a suo motu statement in the Assembly, Ms. Jayalalithaa said the Asian Athletics Association had agreed to conduct the meet in India and the Athletics Federation of India would hold the event in Chennai with the support of the State government.

She said that besides re-laying of the synthetic athletic track in the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium, a new warm-up track would be laid for the athletics meet.

“All the facilities will be upgraded to match the international standards. Similarly, sports goods with international quality will be purchased. Proper facilities will be arranged for all international sportspersons who will take part in the event,” she said.

Ms. Jayalalithaa said her government had been giving priority to sports on a par with education and providing regular training to Tamil Nadu sportspersons to participate in international events. The government was also constructing playgrounds, indoor stadiums and providing financial assistance to sportspersons.

The Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in Chennai was constructed during her first tenure as the Chief Minister between 1991 and 1996, when the South Asian Federation Games were held here.

The Chief Minister also unveiled a scheme for organising sports events in all 12,524 panchayats with a view to encouraging sports among rural masses.

The government will spend Rs. 25.05 crore every year for the purpose.