After Lucknow and Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh is set to get its third international cricket stadium in Varanasi and the work on the same will commence by May-June this year.
The State government has purchased land measuring 31 acres in Rajatalab area of Varanasi for the international cricket stadium, and the land will be handed over to the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) by the end of this month, according to officials.
BCCI's honorary secretary Jay Shah and BCCI vice president Rajeev Shukla had visited Varanasi earlier this week in this regard.
"The Uttar Pradesh government has identified around 31 acres of land in Ganjari village in Rajatalab tehsil (of Varanasi) for the construction of the international cricket stadium. It will be the third such stadium in the state after Green Park in Kanpur and Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana stadium in Lucknow, where international matches will be played," UPCA director Yudhvir Singh told PTI on Sunday.
He said the construction work of the new stadium will commence by May-June this year, and the stadium is likely to be completed by the end of 2024.
"The cost of construction of the proposed cricket stadium is around Rs 300 crore," Mr. Singh said. Mr. Singh said the proposed international cricket stadium will be built as per international standards, and it will have a capacity of accommodating 30,000 visitors.
Meanwhile, Divisional Commissioner of Varanasi, Kaushal Raj Sharma said, "The Uttar Pradesh government has purchased 31 acres of land from the Rajatalab area (of Varanasi) from farmers at almost Rs 120 crore. This land will be given to the UPCA on a 30-year lease by the end of this month. In lieu of the lease, the UPCA will give Rs 10 lakh every year to the UP government. After this, the UPCA will construct its own stadium (on this land)." Mr. Sharma also said that it is possible that Prime Minister Narendra Modi may lay the foundation of the international cricket stadium in June this year.
Confirming the visit of Mr. Shah and Mr. Shukla, the divisional commissioner said, "BCCI and UPCA officials held some rounds of talks with the district administration officials regarding the construction of the cricket stadium. Now, in the last week of this month, Rs 10 lakh lease fee will be deposited, and the land will be handed over to the UPCA. After this, the BCCI will assign the work of construction of the cricket stadium to its construction agency."
To a question on the availability of hotel facilities in the city as per the international cricket matches, Sharma said, "The stadium will be constructed in Rajatalab area of Varanasi. This area is surrounded by Ring Road, and has wide roads, which leads to the (proposed) stadium. There is one five-star hotel in Varanasi. Soon, new hotels will be coming up, and some hotels are being expanded." UPCA director Yudhvir Singh said people of Kashi will be able to enjoy the cricket matches in the stadium from 2025.