J. R. Sridharan

District Sports Authority to develop an eight-lane synthetic track and an astro-turf for hockeyMakineni Basavapunnaiah Stadium at Singhnagar is earmarked for hockey A multi-storeyed building at IGMC Stadium to house 50 sports academy wards is the latest facility coming up

VIJAYAWADA: Among the many parameters, which gauge the growth of the city, sporting facilities take the prime slot and going by the infrastructure coming up in and around Vijayawada, this bustling city is on the right track. Keen on making the city the nucleus of sporting activity in coastal Andhra, the District Sports Authority has thought of developing an eight-lane synthetic track and an astro-turf for hockey. The proposals have been sent to the State and Central Governments. "The importance of having these facilities at Vijayawada is highlighted to all the officials concerned and we are waiting for clearance from the Government," said District Sports Development Officer B. Sudhakar.

Makineni Basavapunnaiah Stadium at Singhnagar, a brainchild of the Left regime in the late 90s, is earmarked for the hockey activity and many State-level tournaments and coaching camps are being held regularly. "Singhnagar stadium is suitable for astro-turf as hockey is being nurtured there. As the game is getting faster and more power-packed, astro turf is a must for the next-generation hockey players," Mr. Sudhakar felt.

However, a decision is yet to be taken for laying eight-lane synthetic track at Indira Gandhi Municipal Corporation stadium. There is a view that the facility may hamper others games and sports, especially cricket. "The IGMC stadium is a multi-purpose stadium meant for all sports and games. Instead of cramming the stadium with more facilities, we are contemplating seeking allotment of eight acres at Bhavanipuram exclusively for athletics and football. Both the projects are in fluid state and we are sure to get the nod soon," Mr. Sudhakar said with a note of optimism.

Swimming activity

Vijayawada is also popular for the swimming activity and the city possesses an international standard (50-meter) swimming pool along with two 25-metre pools at Sir Vizzi Swimming complex at Gandhinagar. In 1995, the city hosted junior nationals in which swimmers from over 25 States took part. "We also hosted a dozen State-level meets at the Gandhinagar pool. The facilities available at the pool are on a par with any metropolitan city," said Narasimha Rao, secretary, Krishna District Swimming Association. Apart from IGMC and Singhnagar stadiums, the city has three indoor stadiums - Dandamudi Rajagopala Rao Municipal indoor stadium, Patamata indoor stadium and Fun Times indoor stadium, maintained by the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation.

The latest facility coming in city is a multi-storeyed building at IGMC Stadium to house 50 sports academy wards, which is likely to be completed by this month-end. "We are happy that the Sports Authority of India has allotted a 250-bed room hostel complex in Vijayawada," said Mr. Sudhakar. A mini indoor stadium is coming up at Gandhiji Municipal High School, housing facilities such as badminton and gymnasium.

The DSA is also coming up with a swimming pool near ZP office at an estimated cost of Rs. 65 lakhs at Machilipatnam along with the multi-purpose outdoor stadium. Jaggaiahpet is getting a multi-purpose stadium at an estimated cost of Rs. 50 lakhs.

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