Nagaland gets first Astro turf football pitch

Tuesday, Jan 29, 2019

Nagaland today inked a new chapter in its sports history as Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio inaugurated the first astro turf football pitch at Indira Gandhi Stadium, Kohima in commemoration of the 100th birth anniversary of Dr. T. Ao.

The CM further informed that the state government plans to set up astro turf football grounds and provide better sports infrastructure in all the district headquarters.

“We cannot expect our sportspersons to return with medals and accolades without providing them good infrastructure. I am hopeful that with the installation of this first Astro turf, we will begin the process of sports development in regard to football in Nagaland,” he said.

Referring to Dr. Talimeren Ao, the first Naga Olympian, India’s first football captain to the Olympic Games and a legendary figure in Indian sport, Rio said Ao was a towering figure who inspired a nation. “We should all be proud of him and at the same time we should strive to emulate the standards set by him.”

He meanwhile appealed to sports associations and federations to play a more proactive role so that “collectively we can work together as a team for the good and the future of our sportspersons.”

Er. Nimo Kath, Executive Engineer, PWD (H) Youth Resources & Sports Division, Kohima in his technical report informed that the project was conceived in 2013-14 with a total cost of Rs. 498.00 lakhs, with an initial funding of Rs. 100.00 lakhs from SPA, and Rs. 90.00 Lakhs in the year 2014-15. Nagaland state has had to bear an amount of Rs. 55.00 lakhs from State Plan and Rs. 40.00 lakhs from Non Plan from 2015-17 since the funding from SPA was discontinued.

Due to want of fund the project could not be completed in the stipulated time, he said, adding that the remaining fund of Rs. 213.00 Lakhs under Development Expenditure (Additional) was received in 2018.

The project was awarded to M/S Khedi Trade & Development Agency and the work commenced in November, 2014 with the time for completion of 24 months. The actual time of completion was four years and two months.

The Astro Turf at IG Stadium has been installed following FIFA specifications. It has a play field size of 105×66 Meters. It was informed that the turf is one of the best in the country with all other components except the Silica Sand being imported from the United States.

Youth Resources and Sports Advisor, Er Zale Neikha informed that the department is working towards installing flood- lights in the stadium, and furnishing it with necessary facilities to make the stadium suitable to host the national games in the future. “It is my hope that this national standard ground will boost the morale of the young talented footballers and inspire them,” he added.



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