The world cup is being contested in Russia creating much excitement across borders. In Goa, the fans of the beautiful game are watching it in clubs, pubs and restaurants and discussing the finer points threadbare. However despite all this excitement and fervour for the game in Panjim, there is no stadium for fans or players despite promises having been made in the past.
The much awaited football stadium at Campal has been waiting to see the light of the day for more than two-and-half years. However Goa State Urban Development Agency (GSUDA), the executing body for the project, has attributed the delay due to a delay in certain approvals and clearances.GSUDA had prepared a detailed report for the stadium in 2015 and sent the project proposal to North Goa Planning and Development Authority (NGPDA) for approval.The stadium will be spread over an area of approximately 40,000 sq. mts, of which the GSUDA has sought to convert 10,000 sq. mts of the constructed area into commercial establishments.Speaking to Herald, GSUDA, Chief Project Officer (CPO), Jagadish Hosamani said “We have written to the Deputy Collector North Goa for handing over the possession of the site at Campal. We are expecting the handing of the land over before the monsoon season ends so that we can go ahead with the construction soon after rains stop. The project will approximately take around 18 months”.However, Hosamani said, GSUDA has already awarded the works of pavilion construction to Prakash Constrowell Ltd. from Nasik which has constructed the Sports Authority of Goa (SAG) Ground at Bambolim. The piling work has been awarded to Shreejikrupa Project Limited from Ahmadabad. Collage Design from Mumbai is the principal consultant for the architectural works.GSUDA, the nodal agency for construction of the football stadium, revealed the European-style stadium project will cost Rs 43 crore and will seat 4500. The project will be executed in six phases and will convert the existing area, which is a waste dump, into a stadium with high mast lighting, dedicated parking and office space.The 4500 seat, European-style Stadium features covered seating that holds in the sound and provides opportunity for future expansion on a temporary overlay to host larger events. This soccer-specific stadium offers exceptional sightlines from every angle. The design of the marquee venue reflects local architectural influences, recalling a proud past while serving as a bridge to a modern era. Inspiration for the main stadium design came from timeless local architecture and essential icons, from the palm trees to traditional wooden boats.Meanwhile, the project was approved by the Manohar Parrikar government in November 2014, just before he resigned as Chief Minister to become Defence Minister of the country and the foundation stone was laid by him in May 2016.The stadium has been a long pending promise of Parrikar, who as CM in 2003 had demolished the Bandodkar Football Stadium in the heart of the city to make way for the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) infrastructure. However, consecutive governments defaulted in fulfilling the demand after the promise made by the government in 2003.Meanwhile, football enthusiasts have expressed dissatisfaction due to the ongoing delay in construction of the stadium.“The stadium should come up fast. The youth from the capital city are eagerly waiting for this moment when they will be able to practise and play on the turf with international standards. Panjim being the capital city does not have its own football stadium. It’s high time that the governments complete this stadium. Promises were made about this stadium but till now there is nothing visible.” said a football enthusiast Anirudha Bhaje