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13 Feb 2018

Siliguri stadium to change hands

The Kanchenjungha Stadium in Siliguri. Picture by Passang Yolmo
BIRESWAR BANERJEE. TT. Feb 12, 2018 Siliguri: The committee that runs the Kanchenjungha Stadium here has decided to hand over its management and maintenance to the state sports department.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the committee here on Monday.
According to the members, the stadium was established in 1988 to host mega football events, but it is in a dire state at present because of lack of proper maintenance and poor infrastructure, .
The last major national soccer event held at the stadium was on April, 2017 - an I League match in which Mohun Bagan Athletic Club beat East Bengal by 2-1. Later, in September, another match of Calcutta Football League was held at the ground.
"The stadium is mostly used for hosting fests, conferences of political parties and cultural programmes. Hardly any major sport event has been held here since the I-League match. It is indeed disappointing that even though the stadium was considered as one of the finest football grounds after Calcutta, it is in a dying condition," said a member of the stadium committee.
Sources said members of the stadium committee had agreed a couple of months back on the fact that it required a major facelift.
There are not adequate changing rooms for players and the stadium even lacks a media centre, parking space and toilets.
Earlier, officials of football teams had complained to the committee that the infrastructure needed to be improved immediately.
"There are limitations in running the stadium with a committee which has been in existence since it was built. I had hence mooted a proposal to hand over the stadium to state sports and youth affairs department about two months back. During the stadium committee's meeting here, the members accepted it and decided that it should be handed over to the state for better management," said S. Daneswar, the Siliguri subdivisional officer, who is also the secretary of the stadium committee.
"After completing formalities, we will place the decision of the members before the district magistrate (who is chairman of the committee) for a final decision," the SDO added.
Sources said the audit of the committee was almost completed and it was preparing a list of fixed assets.
Krishna Chandra Pal, a committee member, said: "As all members have accepted the proposal, we hope the state sports department will come forward and develop it like the Yuva Bharati Krirangan (Salt Lake Stadium) in Calcutta."

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