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Monday, June 14, 2021

Ahmedabad takes a long shot — puts out ad on Olympics infra

On Tuesday, the city's development authority invited proposals from consultants to assess venues and infrastructure to host the Olympic Games.

Written by Ritu Sharma | Ahmedabad |
Updated: June 9, 2021 4:24:57 am
Narendra Modi Stadium is part of a mega sports complex. (Archive)

THERE IS no slot in sight for at least 15 years, and it’s a very long shot. But Ahmedabad, it appears, is going for it.

On Tuesday, the city’s development authority invited proposals from consultants to assess venues and infrastructure to host the Olympic Games.

“…Technically sound and experienced consulting engineering firms for appointment of technical assistance consultant/ agency for assessment of sports and non sports venues and city infrastructure for hosting the Olympic Games,” said a newspaper advertisement issued by Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority (AUDA).

According to the advertisement, the project will be jointly executed by AUDA, Sports Authority of India (SAI) and the Gujarat government.

“With the aim of making Ahmedabad an international sports destination that can host events like Olympics, Asiad and Commonwealth Games, the consultants will be asked to identify infrastructural gaps, requirements for international sports events and a way forward,” AUDA chairman and Ahmedabad Municipal Commissioner Mukesh Kumar told The Indian Express.

The tender details are also listed on the e-procurement website managed by Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers and Chemicals Limited (GNFC), which is promoted by the state government. The consultant is required to complete a “gap analysis” and submit a report within three-and-a-half months.

“A pre-bid meeting has been scheduled at the AUDA headquarters for queries, if any. The last date to apply is June 24 and the preliminary and technical stage for opening of bids is June 25,” said AUDA executive engineer Jatin Kapadiya.

The push comes three months after President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the Narendra Modi Stadium, the world’s largest cricket venue, in the city on February 24. At the time, officials had also unveiled plans to build a vast sports complex with Union Home Minister Amit Shah saying it has the potential to host the Olympics.

“The sports complex at Motera of which Narendra Modi stadium is a part and the new sports complex at Naranpura will help Ahmedabad to host any international event like the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games or Olympics,” Shah had said.

There’s still quite some way to go, though.

After Tokyo this year, host cities have already been lined up for the next three Olympics — Paris in 2024, Los Angeles in 2028 and Brisbane, which is set to be announced as host of the 2032 Games.

India has twice thrown its hat in the ring — once for the 2024 edition and then for the 2032 Games — but could not put together a bid.

In March, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had pledged to launch a bid for the 2048 Olympics to mark 100 years of India’s independence. Soon after, the Indian Olympic Association president Narinder Batra had suggested Ahmedabad, too, could be considered for the 2036 or 2040 edition.

Rebuilt at a cost of roughly Rs 800 crore, the 1.13-lakh capacity Narendra Modi Stadium is part of the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Sports Enclave that is spread over 215 acres. While the stadium also houses 55 rooms in the clubhouse, the complex has a 3D mini theatre, an Olympic-size swimming pool, gymnasium, steam and sauna, and squash courts.

According to sources, the estimated cost of the enclave is Rs 4,600 crore while the entire project, including hospitality and entertainment, is slated to cost up to Rs 10,000 crore.

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