THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Come Wednesday, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy will lay the foundation stone for the Kariavattom outdoor stadium, the proposed venue for the opening/closing ceremony of the 35th National Games. The Chief Minister will lay the foundation stone at 4.30 pm on the day at Kariavattom. Sports Minister K B Ganesh Kumar and officials concerned will attend the function. The event will be a major milestone in the preparations for the 35th National Games to be hosted by the State. The proposed stadium will come up on 37 acres of land belonging to the University of Kerala.
The Kerala University has lent the 37 acres to Kariavattom Sports Facilities Limited, a special-purpose vehicle fully owned by IL&FS Transportation Network Limited. The land was given on lease for 30 years. The construction of the greenfield stadium is expected to be completed in two years.
The first stadium in the country to be developed on DBOT (Design-build-operate- transfer) basis, the facility would have the capacity to seat 50,000 people. The rough estimate of the project is ` 160 crore.
The stadium is designed in such a way that it could be used for football and cricket. It is designed as a self-sustaining model, having a convention centre, exhibition hall, restaurant, club house, swimming pools, indoor games facilities, retail space etc.
Though the work was awarded to IL&FS in September last year, delay in forming a consensus on the lease amount by Kerala University lagged the works. Finally, National Games Secretariat, IL&FS and the University signed a concession agreement on April 4, paving way for the development of the stadium.