Multi-purpose indoor stadium comes up at Kolkata’s Behala

Kolkata got an air-conditioned multi-purpose indoor stadium in Behala recently. The stadium, within the Eastern Railway’s sports complex at Gholsapur, was inaugurated by railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw.

With a seating capacity of 1,100, the stadium can host sporting events like basketball, volleyball, kabaddi, handball, badminton, table tennis, weight lifting, chess and bridge. The complex also houses the cricket ground where Sourav Ganguly practised and a swimming pool that matches Olympic standards.

Kolkata has two other indoor stadia. The largest of them is the Netaji Indoor Stadium. Unfortunately, few state, national or international sports events are organised there now. It is primarily used for public meetings, trade fairs, cultural shows and other activities that are not even remotely related to sports. The famous song ‘Saara Zamana Hasino ka Deewana’ from the film Yaarana was shot at this stadium.

The other indoor stadium is the Khudiram Anushilan Kendra, next door to Netaji Indoor Stadium. It is a much smaller premises but does hold some sports events, apart from trade fairs and meetings. Hopefully, the stadium in Behala, under the Ministry of Railways, will not go that way and remain a venue for sports, even if they are local or district level tournaments. After all, the best talents emerge from that level.

“This stadium will not be used for any other purpose apart from sports. The Railway Board approved construction of this elevated complex in 2010 for Rs 81 crore. iRCON was the implementing agency. There ia two-tier seating arrangement inside. There is a parking lot in the basement. The stadium also has a cafeteria. The stadium has a unique shape with a semi-circular dome. It has a dedicated power back up arrangement and world-class sound system with control booths. It has two large electronic displays for 360 degree viewership. It also has smoke detection systems, CCTV cameras and a modern fire fighting system. The complex also has a meeting room, conference hall, VIP lounge and media room,” a senior Eastern Railway official said.




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