NEW DELHI, Sept 23: The Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday laid the foundation of a cricket stadium in his Parliamentary constituency of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh having a seating capacity of 30,000 spectators.
The stadium, the third international cricket stadium in UP after Green Park stadium in Kanpur and Ekana stadium in the state capital city of Lucknow, would be constructed with the “essence of Kashi,” considered to be the earthly place of Lord Shiva.
To be constructed near the Ring Road in Rajatalab area, the UP government said it had acquired the land in Ganjari for the stadium at a cost of Rs 121 crores while the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) would bear the construction cost of Rs 330 crores.
The spectators’ gallery of the stadium will resemble the famous “Ganga ghats” of Varanasi while the “essence of Kashi” will be visible in the design of the stadium which features crescent-shaped roof covers, floodlights shaped like a ‘trishool’ (trident), patterns resembling bel leaves, and one of the structures shaped like a ‘damru’, a musical instrument associated with Lord Shiva.
The stadium will have seven pitches and its construction is expected to be completed by December, 2025. Besides the UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath, legendary Indian cricketers including Sachin Tendulkar, Sunil Gavaskar, Dilip Vengsarkar and Ravi Shastri attended the foundation stone laying ceremony. Several BCCI office bearers, including President Roger Binny, Vice President Rajiv Shukla, and Secretary Jay Shah were also part of the ceremony.
Laying the foundation stone, Mr Modi said the stadium would lead to income generation for thousands of workers in Varanasi, which already see a high tourist footfall. Drivers and boatmen are among those who will benefit from crowds coming to the stadium.