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Pranab pledges full financial support for artificial turf

india Updated: Aug 29, 2010 20:22 IST

Union Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee today promised full monetary assistance to Bengal Hockey Association (BHA) for building artificial turfs near the Salt Lake Stadium.

Addressing a BHA function to celebrate the National Sports Day at Town Hall, the Union minster said, "I am aware
that lack of artificial turfs is a matter of concern for Bengal.

"Earlier when I was with the Defence ministry there were some problem with the land. But now I have heard that four
acres of land has been given to BHA for making an artificial turf. I assure full support from the ministry," Mukherjee

Later the finance minister sought the project report for the artificial turf from BHA.

Hailing the finance minister's gesture, BHA secretary Gurbux Singh told PTI: "He is a man of big stature, his
commitment means a lot to us. He has asked for the project report once we get the possession."

"The paperwork is ready and we are awaiting the possession of the land that has been allotted to us by the
West Bengal government earlier this year," Singh said.

"This was a matter of genuine concern for the last 35 years. Hope the artificial turf becomes ready soon," the
Olympian and former India captain said.

At present the state has only one artificial turf, at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Eastern Centre that has
been built less than a year ago.

The BHA function to celebrate the 105th birth anniversary of hockey wizard Major Dhyan Chand also saw Olympians Keshav Dutt, Jaswant Singh, Ajitpal Singh, Zafar Iqbal and Bir Bahadur Chhetri in attendance.