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Pune Infra Watch: Industrial city Pimpri-Chinchwad to become sports hub with renovated hockey stadium, other facilities

🔴 The Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium has been overhauled as per the norms of Hockey India, say officials. Another major development is the construction of a kabaddi and wrestling complex at Bhosari.

Written by Manoj Dattatrye More | Pune |
Updated: December 9, 2021 4:02:50 pm
The renovated Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium at Nehrunagar is ready to hold its first national hockey tournament after a long time.

Pimpri-Chinchwad, the famous industrial city in Maharashtra, is now getting ready to emerge as a prominent sports hub too. The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has prepared a plan to overhaul existing sports facilities as well as set up new ones to promote various sports. Though belated, sports enthusiasts have welcomed the move but want the PCMC to speed up the process.

For starters, PCMC has overhauled the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium at Nehrunagar. The stadium, which was set up two decades back, will hold its first national hockey tournament from December 11. The facility has been infamous for its poor facilities and sometimes the turf was seen chewed by rats.

The renovated Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium at Nehrunagar is ready to hold its first national hockey tournament after a long time.

Officials, however, say that the stadium has been overhauled as per the norms of Hockey India (the national hockey federation) and soon would be ready to host even international matches. “We have taken care of every aspect of the stadium. Be it the carpet, seating arrangements for spectators, pavilion or the parking lots; everything has been redone by spending crores of rupees. Our team has even visited the Bhubaneswar stadium in Odisha to witness the facilities available for players and spectators. The changes have been brought in after consultation with Hockey India. In fact, when the stadium was being overhauled, Hockey India officials themselves visited and approved the changes. We are now even confident of holding international matches,” said additional municipal commissioner Vikas Dhakane.

Municipal Commissioner Rajesh Patil last week said: “Besides uplifting the hockey stadium, we are planning to develop complexes for every other sport in a bid to popularise each of them. We will be appointing expert coaches, roping in sport organisations to assist us and taking help from industrial houses…Our objective is to make Pimpri-Chinchwad a new sports hub and produce players of national and international standards.”

When Ruturaj Gaikwad, a resident of the Sangvi area was selected for India senior men’s cricket team based on his IPL performances with Chennai Super Kings, it was a proud moment for Pimpri-Chinchwad. Ruturaj is a product of Varroc-Vengsarkar Academy, run by former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar, at the PCMC’s Thergaon ground.

“We are setting up new facilities on the ground. A pavilion is coming up. We will soon fulfill other requirements of the ground,” said Sushma Shinde, who is in charge of PCMC’s sports section.

Another major development is the construction of a kabaddi and wrestling complex at Bhosari. “The work of the complex is in progress. It will provide a new fillip to traditional sports like kabaddi and wrestling,” said Shinde.

Sachin Godambe, a long time resident of Bhosari, said: “Bhosari has been for ages famous for wrestling bouts. It has produced national-level wrestlers. Unfortunately, the facilities in Bhosari are pathetic and the sport seems to be disappearing from Bhosari. I hope the new complex will provide a major boost to wrestling and kabaddi.”

Shinde said PCMC is also developing four existing grounds at different places in the city. PCMC has 13 swimming pools and is planning to set up another one at Charholi, she said.

Raju Kotwal, a former cricket coach with the PCMC, said the Annasaheb Magar Stadium at Nehrunagar is long overdue for renovation. “It was the first stadium set in Pimpri-Chinchwad. The stadium, part of which was demolished, is now home to a Covid jumbo hospital. I hope the PCMC will undertake the project of overhauling it and making it available for sportspersons from different fields,” Kotwal said.

Kotwal lamented that the PCMC does not have a proper lodging facility for sportspersons coming from outside the city. Shinde, however, said the civic body is planning to set up a hostel facility at Nehrunagar stadium.

Besides a sports complex in Bhosari, another one under the smart city project is being planned in the Pimple Saudagar area. “We have several badminton courts in the city and are also planning a few more,” Shinde said.

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