SAI football turf set for an Rs 6.93 crore makeover

City Sports

The work began in December 2017, and will conclude by end of May 2018.

The new football turf that is being laid out at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) complex in Bangalore, will be completed at an estimated cost of Rs 7 crore.

The new turf is expected to be  laid out with all the facilities before May 31.

Rs 5.10 crore is being spent in the setting up of the  new turf, drainage and  other facilities. The remaining  Rs 1.83 crore will be used to build towers, where floodlights will be fitted.

SAI had begun work on the ground in December 2017. The new turf will be an artificial one, and can last up to 14-15 years if maintained properly. The current pitch has been in use since 1984, and has natural grass.

N.P. Rameshan, an engineer at SAI, said that the authorities were finding it extremely difficult to maintain the natural grass, given the shortage of water in the state. He added  that the grass would become hard when not watered, making it really dangerous for usage.

Mr. Rameshan also added that the pitch will contain the football turf, beyond which there will be a free space. Then, the drainage area will be created followed by a fencing area. The whole area will be 140m long and 60m wide.

He further said that the objective of this facility was to train the younger generation of footballers.Akhilesh Bhat, who represents Income Tax FC in  the A-division of  the Bangalore District Football Association (BDFA) League, said that artificial grass shouldn’t be recommended for training purpose, as it gets heated up really fast in summers, and can affect the feet of the players.

He also added that official matches across the world take place in natural grass, hence, the usage of artificial grass  should be avoided.

The player, though,acknowlegded and sympathised with the SAI for the reason behind the shift from natural grass to the artificial one, stating that it was better to have a ground with good artificial grass than one with natural grass, which isn’t maintained.

The new facility will be free to use  for  the national football team, state football team and other local teams on time basis. The general public will need to pay a small fee to avail the facility.

The whole cost of the project is being borne under the government’s ‘Khelo India’ scheme.