Ahmedabad: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday said that Ahmedabad in Gujarat would emerge as the country’s “sports city” as world-class facilities for all kinds of games are being put in place here.
Shah made the statement after President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated in Ahmedabad the world’s largest cricket stadium, which is now known as Narendra Modi stadium – renamed after the country’s Prime Minister.
The president also performed the ground-breaking ceremony of a sports complex in the stadium, to be named Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Sports Enclave, for disciplines like football, hockey, basketball, kabaddi, boxing, and lawn tennis among others.
Shah said that a complex spread over an area of 17 acres of area with world-class facilities for different sports will also come up in Naranpura area of Ahmedabad.
“The Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Sports Enclave, the Narendra Modi stadium and the sports complex at Naranpura will offer complete facilities within the same city at the same place for any sports played internationally. With all these facilities, Ahmedabad will be in a position to get ready within six months to host any international sports event,” Shah said.
The minister said that the sports enclave will be available to play all the games that are played in Olympics, and it will have stadiums for football and hockey as well as an indoor stadium.
“Such sports facilities are not available in any other city in India at present. Ahmedabad, which Modiji transformed into India’s heritage city, is now ready to become the country’s sports city…Ahmedabad will be considered as India’s sports city.
“With such sports infrastructure, Ahmedabad will be known as India’s sports city, which is the dream that Prime Minister Narendra Modiji saw when he was the chief minister of Gujarat,” Shah said.
Stating that infrastructure was also being put in place to connect the sports enclave to other parts of the city, he expressed happiness that all the facilities have either come up or are being developed within the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency, which he represents.
“All the facilities have been visualised together in such a way that there is no repetition, and they are of international quality. When Ahmedabad city and India have to bid for international games, all the facilities remain within 50 km radius,” he said.
Shah said that with such facilities being developed, the day is not far when the names of Indian players figure in the list of medal winners of Asiad and Olympic games.
He said that Modi’s call for ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ should also apply to sports, and urged the youth to work hard towards bringing India on top in the field of sports.
Praising the PM for his vision and farsightedness as Gujarat’s chief minister for creating sports infrastructure and launching schemes like ‘Khelo Gujarat’.
He said, Modi took over as the president of Gujarat Cricket Association then and worked with the vision that the money coming in from cricket does not stay in cricket alone but goes into the development of other forms of sports as well.
Shah said that Modi wanted Gujarat to go ahead in both sports and Army recruitment, in which the state lagged behind.
“When it came to constructing the (cricket) stadium, he (Modi) had told us that whatever happens in Gujarat should be the world’s largest. And the stadium, with a capacity of 1.32 lakh spectators which was today inaugurated by the president, is not just the world’s largest cricket stadium, but also the world’s largest sports stadium…,” he said.
Shah accused the Congress party of trying to make people forget the contributions made by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and added that history has done injustice to him.
But Modi ensured that he remains etched into our memory- through the world’s tallest Statue of Unity, and now with the sports enclave, he said.
On the same cricket ground, Indian cricketers Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, Srinath and Cheteshwar Pujara have broken records, he said.
Shah also praised Kovind for his “simplicity, hard work and dedication”, and said he has worked towards enhancing the pride of the Rashtrapati Bhavan.