Construction of India’s largest hockey stadium in Odisha’s Sundargarh

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Come January next year, the Birsa Munda International Hockey Stadium in Odisha’s tribal-dominated Sundargarh district will be packed to the rafters during the FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup. As many as 20,000 supporters will be rooting for the Indian hockey team, which is riding high on the Tokyo Olympics success and will seek to not only better the quarterfinal finish in the 2018 edition in Bhubaneswar, but also win the showpiece event.

The work at the stadium on the outskirts of Rourkela city started in June last year and it is going on round the clock as officials battle to complete it within the deadline.

Normally, it takes around 18-24 months to build a stadium of this size.

“But, we designed and planned it in such a way so that we can save time in engineering and the conventional construction part,” Sports Department infrastructure consultant Swagat Singh said.

The executing agency of the 200-crore stadium is the Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation of Odisha and it has sublet the work to the Larsen and Toubro.

The 80-crore accommodation near the practice pitch is being done by another contractor and its deadline is October, the official said.

The 35-acre site includes the stadium and accommodation inside the 120-acre campus of the Biju Patnaik University of Technology.

“It’s India’s largest hockey stadium. We’re also assuming it to be the world’s biggest, but yet to get that confirmation from the FIH,” he told a group of journalists at the site, 293 km northwest of capital Bhubaneswar.

The workforce size is around 400. The casting is done at night and preparatory work in the morning due to the searing heat for the past few weeks. By the end of this month, the complete shell will be done. Once the skeleton structure is completed, the workers will start giving the finishing touch.

The field of play has a more run off area, the official said, expressing hope that it would host many World Cup matches, scheduling of which is yet to be done. There will be some light projection and the facade has been designed in such a way that cultural aspects of the region can be integrated.