Rs.6 bn required for National Games 2010 in Kerala

February 10th, 2009 - 8:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 10 (IANS) The 35th National games, to be held in Kerala May 1-14, 2010, will require Rs. 6 billion (Rs.600 crore or $1.2 billion) for creating the sports infrastructure, authorities here said Tuesday.

The estimate was made during a meeting of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and Kerala government officials.

Defence Minister A.K. Antony and Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan also held a meeting with officials.

The Games’ highlight will be that it would provide an opportunity to select athletes to represent the country in the 2010 Commonwealth Games to be held in New Delhi, IOA president Suresh Kalmadi told reporters.

“This would be the first time that competition would be held in 35 disciplines. Kerala events like kalaryipayettu and boat race will be included as exhibition sports,” he said.

State Sports Minister M. Vijayakumar said he expected the central government to chip in with considerable funds and that he was confident the entire required infrastructure would be ready.

Kalmadi said as the first meeting was over, a group from here would campaign for the funds from the central government.

Added Vijayakumar: “There will certainly be an allocation in the state budget this time and we also plan to have an annuity scheme where we can raise loans which have a deferred payment.”

State Finance Minister Thomas Isaac has already said the state will tap funds from small investors and non-resident Keralites.

Vijayakumar said: “A brand-new stadium will come up here where the opening and closing ceremonies, besides athletics, would be held. Five new indoor stadiums, a swimming pool and a new cycle velodrome will also come up across the state and would be ready for the Games.”

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