SAMBALPUR: The Athletic Association of Sambalpur has approached the district administration for installation of additional floodlights at Veer Surendra Sai (VSS) Stadium in the city.
Association secretary Dulal Chandra Pradhan said 10 permanent towers for floodlights were installed in the stadium recently. This apart, cabling work and installation of panel board have also been completed. Hindalco Industries Limited (HIL) executed the work at an estimated cost of `25 lakh.
However, due to fund shortage, only two floodlights of 200 watt each have been installed in each tower. With a total of only 20 floodlights, it is difficult to organise day-night matches in the stadium due to poor lighting, he said.
There is a requirement of additional 10 floodlights of 400 watt each in each tower. The stadium will be illuminated properly and day-night matches could be organised only after installation of requisite number of floodlights, Pradhan said.
“The association has already approached the district administration in this regard and I am hopeful that additional floodlights will be installed at the earliest,” he said.
VSS, one of the prominent stadiums in Western Odisha, has hosted several Ranji Trophy and Deodhar Trophy cricket matches. Besides, Under-14, Under-16 and Under-19 national level cricket matches have also been held. Many international cricketers including Vinod Kambli, Virender Sehwag, Ashish Nehra, Gautam Gambhir and Ravichandran Ashwin have played in the stadium which has six galleries and a capacity to accommodate around 17,000 people.
Pradhan said they day-night cricket matches of Sambalpur Premier League (SPL) are also organised in the stadium. However, they have to depend on temporary lighting arrangement for the matches. This temporary arrangement costs about `3.5 lakh. After new floodlights are installed, the association will save the amount of money spent on temporary lights, he said.
The association has also planned to start Football Premier League in the stadium after installation of the additional floodlights, he added.