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Chhattisgarh gets 37th National Games 2013

Chhattisgarh will host the 37th National Games, scheduled for 2013, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) said Tuesday.

Three editions of the National Games are yet to be held. The 34th National Games were scheduled in Jharkand in 2007, but have been postponed four times due to infrastructural delays. The 35th National Games are scheduled to be held in Kerala in May this year while Goa will host the 36th edition in 2011.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh signed the host city contract with IOA president Suresh Kalmadi at a function here. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between Kalmadi, Raman Singh and Chhattisgarh Olympic Association chairman Anil Verma.

The state government also handed over a cheque of Rs.2 crore as contract fee for holding the event which includes 33 categories of Olympic sports.

"Hosting the National Games also means the state will have good infrastructure and other facilities to promote the Olympic disciplines. We have seen this happening in several states that have held the Games. It will be of immense help to the sportspersons of the state," said Kalmadi.

"The IOA always gives priority to small states to hold National Games as it provides an opportunity for infrastructural development in the region. Holding the games in different states also encourages sports talents from the region to participate in such events," he said.

Raman Singh said that the state has already started preparations for the games.

"The elementary preparations have started and we hope to make the event a great success."

The state government has also identified 200 acres of land in Raipur to develop infrastructure for the games. An international stadium is being constructed with an investment of Rs.100 crore in the capital, while another project is under way to build an indoor and an outdoor stadium in the city.

Though Raipur will be the host town, some events will also be organised in Bhilai steel city, and in Durg and Rajnandgaon districts.

"Sports persons from Chhattisgarh have won 17 medals at various national level tournaments and also many of them are participating in international events. Holding the national Games will lift the spirit of young aspirants as well as the people of Chhattisgarh," state Sports Minister Lata Usendi, who was also present on the occasion, said.

According to an estimate, the state would require Rs.1,100 crore for organising the event.

Of this amount, Rs.500 crore is expected to be spent on infrastructure and Rs.400 crore on the development of the games village and accommodation of visitors and sportspersons. The rest will be spent on procurement of equipment and organising the events.

The state has already begun the process of forming the National Games Organising Committee (NGOC). The governing council will be headed by the chief minister while the state chief secretary will preside over the NGOC's executive council. (IANS)

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