The 2015 World Cup tournament has ended but chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is yet to deliver on his promise made after India’s 2011 victory to build an international cricket stadium in Bhopal. Madhya Pradesh has two international cricket stadiums — Holkar Cricket Stadium is located in Indore and Captain Roop Singh Stadium in Gwalior.
Discussions are yet to start on the capacity of the proposed stadium, its design, inputs from experts and other facilities.
The sports department too has not been allotted land for the stadium and officials said no funds had been set aside for the project.
The sports department identified 40 acres at Barkheda Nathu in 2013 and the state urban administration and development department issued an order for reserving the land. But Bhopal additional district magistrate Vikas Mishra said the allocation process of land to the sports department had not done yet. Director of sports Upendra Jain said the transfer of land was under process.
“Tender process and other decisions for construction of the stadium will begin only after the allotment of land,” he said. While releasing a report card on completing her first year in office in December 2014, state sports minister Yashodhara Raje Scindia said the department needs a sizeable budget for constructing the stadium.
An officer, requesting anonymity, said: “Things are going very slow. The department needs an amount which is almost double the annual budget. The work can’t be started without a separate allocation for the stadium. In this year’s budget, no fund was sanctioned for the proposed international cricket stadium.”
The sports department is also thinking of developing the stadium through public-private partnership but a decision can be made only after land is allotted.
A cricket coach said an international stadium could develop the quality of cricket in Bhopal. “But we are not expecting the government to construct the stadium in another four years as it has taken no initiative in this regard,” he said.