THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Bringing to an end the inordinate delay in the infrastructure development which further delayed the 35th National Games, the preliminary work on the international stadium at Kariavattom is expected to begin within two weeks.
University of Kerala and Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Limited (IL&FS) signed a concession agreement in this regard the other day. IL&FS is the developer of the stadium proposed to be constructed on 37 acres of land belonging to the University of Kerala on Kariavattom campus.
The Kariavattom stadium is the proposed venue for the opening/closing ceremonies of the 35th National Games to be held in Kerala. Anil Kumar, co-ordinator of National Games Secretariat, said: “The stadium will be unique in many ways. It is the first stadium in the country coming up on DBOT (Design-Build- Operate and Transfer) basis. It is also the first stadium in the country to be developed on annuity mode. Unlike other stadia which remain unused after the main event, this stadium is designed as a self-sustaining model. It will have a convention centre, exhibition hall, restaurant, club house, swimming pools, indoor games facilities, retail space etc.” The rough estimate of the project is Rs 160 crore.
The stadium is designed in such a way that it can be used for football and cricket. It will not have an athletic track since the city already has stadia with this facility. It will have a seating capacity of 50,000.
The University of Kerala has agreed to lend 37 acres of its land in Kariavattom on lease for 30 years. It is learned that a consensus has been formed on rent. Though IL&FS had won the bid and awarded the contract almost five months ago, the work was stuck over the issue of land transfer by the University authorities.
The National Games Secretariat has also received the environmental clearance for the project. “All the formalities are over. The work will start soon,” said Anil Kumar.
IL&FS has formed a special purpose vehicle, Kariavattom Sports Facilities Limited, for the construction of the stadium. In annuity mode, the Government will not have to pay any amount for the first three years. It will pay Rs 400 crore in the next 15 years. The company is responsible for the maintenance of the stadium for 15 years after construction. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2013.