A multi-purpose indoor stadium is born at Behala in Kolkata

Kolkata recently got an air-conditioned multi-purpose indoor stadium in Behala. The stadium, located in the Eastern Railway Sports Complex in Gholsapur, was inaugurated by Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw.

With a seating capacity of 1,100, the stadium can host sporting events like basketball, volleyball, kabaddi, handball, badminton, table tennis, weightlifting, chess and bridge . The complex also houses the cricket ground where Sourav Ganguly trained and an Olympic-standard swimming pool.

Kolkata has two other indoor stadiums. The largest of these is the Netaji Indoor Stadium. Unfortunately, few state, national or international sporting events are now held there. It is mainly used for public meetings, trade fairs, cultural performances and other activities that are not even related to sports. The famous song “Saara Zamana Hasino ka Deewana” from the movie Yaarana was shot in this stadium.

The other indoor stadium is the Khudiram Anushilan Kendra, next to the Netaji indoor stadium. It is a much smaller place but which organizes sporting events, apart from fairs and meetings. Hopefully, Behala Stadium under Ministry of Railways will not go in that direction and will remain a venue for sports even if it is tournaments at local or district level. After all, the best talent emerges from this level.

“This stadium will not be used for any purpose other than sport. The Railway Board approved the construction of this elevated complex in 2010 for Rs 81 crore. iRCON was the executing agency. There is a two-way seating arrangement levels inside. There is parking in the basement. The stadium also has a cafeteria. The stadium has a unique shape with a semi-circular dome.

“It has a dedicated rescue system and a world-class audio system with control booths. It has two large electronic screens for 360 degree vision. It also has smoke detection systems, CCTV cameras and a modern firefighting system. The complex also has a meeting room, a conference room, a VIP lounge and a multimedia room,” said a senior responsible for the Eastern Railway.

(IANS input)

James C. Tibbs