Bhubaneswar: The chief secretary, AP Padhi, Thursday fast tacked the city Infrastructure development and beautification works for the ensuing Odisha Men’s’ Hockey World Cup to be held in November and December of this year.

The Bhubaneswar Municipal Commissioner, Krishan Kumar presented the updates at a review meeting in the state secretariat. Taking a project wise review of the progress, the chief secretary set time lines against each and directed the concerned departments to complete the works in time without fail. The BDA , BMC and officers of infrastructure development departments were put on toes for adhering to set timelines.

It was decided to bring in 50 standard AC and 50 non-AC buses under City Bus Modernization plan. The  projects for renovation and construction of bus depots at Patrapada, Patia and Pokhariput were also finalized. It was targeted to expedite the tender award process and issue the letter of agreement by 30th April.  Padhi directed to complete the underground cabling of the road from Sishu Bhawan Chhhak to Ramamndir by 30th October. Further, it was decided to construct foot over bridge near Kalinga stadium  for uninterrupted traffic flow and convenience of pedestrians.

Wi-Fi network coverage would be provided in all priority corridors with 75 locations and 300 access points before the world cup. Three routes were identified as special bus routes in view of the prestigious international events. This included Route-I- from KIIT square to Lingaraj square covering a length of 16.5 Km, Route-II from Janata Maidan to Kalinga stadium covering a length of 2.8 kms, and Route-III City Tour.  It was further decided to upgrade the infrastructure in 20 places of top tourist importance in the city. Tourism department was asked to finalize the list by 25th April.

The meeting also decided to set up additional road side urinals and public toilets. So far, BMC has already constructed 60 public toilets and 50 hybrid toilets across the city. It was decided to construct 60 more public toilets and 100 urinals. The urinals would be set up with prefabricated reinforced fiber materials. Chief Secretary Sri Padhi emphasized on proper cleaning and up-keeping of the urinals. The progress of public bi-cycle sharing system figured in the meeting. Discussions revealed that around 3500 bicycles would be available to the commuters through this project. It would be a fully automated system with smart card provisions. It was decided to issue the letter of agreement by 10th May.

Further,  the meeting deliberated on organization of city festival covering world cup period. The events like heritage walk, patah utsav, Music Park, storytelling, folk-art, film festival and food bazaar would be organized in the city to give rich experiences to the visitors and the tourists during the period. Chief secretary advised to organize qualitative events tinged with Odishan cultural flavor.

The matches for the World Cup would be played from  November 28 to December 16. Each day two matches would be played from 5.00 P.M. onwards. Quarter Final would be played on December 12 and 13. Semi-final and Final matches have been scheduled on 15th and 16th December respectively.

Champion teams from 16 countries would participate in the World Cup and Matches would be played in 4 pools. The countries namely Argentina, New Zealand, Spain and France would be in Pool-A, Australia, England, Ireland and China would be in Pool-B, Belgium, India , Canada, and South Africa would be in Pool-C; and Netherlands, Germany, Malaysia and Pakistan would be in Pool-D.  This is  for the 3rd time that India is going to organize the prestigious World Cup and Odisha is proud of getting the chance to host it at Bhubaneswar. India hosted Hockey World Cup for first time in 1982 at Bombay and for 2nd time in 2010 at New Delhi. This time it is being organized it at Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar.

State general administration principal secretary  Ashok Meena,  tourism principal secretary  Dr Mona Sharma, I & PR and energy secretary Hemant Sharma, sports & youth services secretary  Vishal Dev, works secretary  Nalini Kanta Pradhan, BMC commissioner Krishan Kumar were present in the review meeting.