The Odisha State Government in India has pledged to deliver a plastic-free Men’s Hockey World Cup this year, with the Kalinga Stadium set to be the driving force behind the initiative.

The national team event will run at the Bhubaneswar venue from November 28 to December 16 and preparations are underway for the tournament to ensure it fits in with the city’s green image.

Bhubaneswar has recently unveiled a series of projects to cut the use of plastic in the state capital. According to the New Indian Express, these include a complete ban on plastics across the state from October 2.

Led by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the project will cover the Kalinga Stadium and, as such, event organisers have been working at the site.

Earlier this week, authorities removed around 31 illegal structures near to the venue in order to adhere to the new regulations. This included the demolition of 21 asbestos and tin-covered houses, five tin-covered shops, three thatched houses and two thatched cow sheds.

The Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA), Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation, General Administration Department and Commissionerate Police at Gauda Basti carried out the work.

Bhabani Shankar Chayani, additional commissioner-cum-member enforcement at the BDA, said: “The eviction drive will continue for making the surroundings near Kalinga Stadium free from encroachment. This will create a better ambience around the stadium ahead of the Hockey World Cup.”

Image: Sailesh Patnaik