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Uran to get new sports complex

DNMUM154653 | 11/25/2009 | Author : Falguni Banerjee | WC :506 | Sports

Facility on the lines of Balewadi gets SAI, CIDCO okay

After Dr DY Patil Stadium in Nerul, it is the turn of Ulwe to get a swanky stadium of international standards. However, it may not be a cricket stadium but one dedicated to other sports. City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) is in the process of transferring a huge plot of land admeasuring 6.7 hectares in Ulwe node to former MP Ramsheth Thakur's NGO Ramsheth Thakur Samajik Vikas Mandal, Panvel for the project.
Critics are, however, skeptical if private organisations such as Thakur's are equipped to handle such mega projects. Constructing a stadium requires much technical expertise and knowledge and experts believe such projects should be handled only by experienced bodies. Surprisingly, CIDCO too has succumbed to political pressure and readily agreed to hand over the land.
When contacted, PWP MLA from Uran Vivek Patil said, "Ideally, an experienced organisation which has completed such projects successfully should be allotted the project but CIDCO succumbs to political pressure and gives land to private organisations."
Thakur had applied for land to CIDCO to create such a project. After consulting Sports Authority of India (SAI), CIDCO decided to allot the project to Thakur's NGO. The former MP plans to create a fully-equipped stadium on the lines of Balewadi in Pune. It will boast of facilities for swimming, volleyball, football, athletics track, wrestling and other ancillary sports.
Initially, CIDCO transferred a 10-acre land to the NGO but the allotted plot of land fell short of the requirements and hence, an adjacent plot of land was later allotted to Thakur. The two adjacent plots allotted by CIDCO are situated close to the proposed Gawhan station on the Belapur-Uran route. "The stadium will have all the facilities one can think of. Every year, we organise sports tournaments for children from Navi Mumbai and such a stadium will boost sports amongst the talented children. They have immense talent but do not get the right platform," Thakur said.
Thakur's NGO has already paid the required Earnest Money Deposit for the first plot and a payment of Rs 2.74 crore is pending, following which the transfer formalities will be completed and work on the project will begin.
When contacted, Virendra Bhandarkar of SAI informed, "They showed me the initial plans of the sports complex and sought my advice. I advised them that if they are constructing any such project, it must meet international standards. Only then will it benefit the sportspersons from the city."
Citing the example of Balewadi, he said, "All the camps for Commonwealth Games are being held at Balewadi. Although it lies on the outskirts of Pune city, it is very easily accessible. Also, the city is fast expanding. Similarly, Ulwe node too is expected to develop very well in future and such a stadium located centrally which will meet all the international norms will benefit the city at large."
The NGO is engaged in various social, cultural, sports, health activities. Panvel MLA Prashant Thakur along with his committed colleagues has been actively involved in making this dream come true.

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