Work on developing a new stadium that will become India’s largest cricket facility is set to commence as planned after a funding issue was resolved.
The city of Ghaziabad in the state of Uttar Pradesh will be the home of the 75,000-seat facility. Earlier this week, it was reported that a dispute between the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA) and the Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) had stalled the project.
The UPCA had opposed paying a further acquisition fee on the basis that it had already paid Rs800m (£8.8m/€9.9m/$11.3m) to acquire land from farmers. However, the Times of India newspaper has now reported that the Association will mortgage part of the stadium’s 34 acres of land, worth Rs75m, following which the GDA will approve the site map. Work on the stadium is now expected to start by January 15.
The UPCA plans to invest around Rs5bn to develop the stadium, which was formally announced last month. The floor area ratio (FAR) of the site has also proved a sticking point, but Rakesh Mishra, convener of the international stadium committee of the UPCA, told the Times of India: “On the issue of acquisition fee, we will give an undertaking that whatever the state decides will be agreeable. On enhanced FAR, we have been assured that the government will look into it.”
An earlier proposal for the stadium in Ghaziabad outlined a 45,000-seat capacity. This project was due to be completed next year, but was eventually shelved. Uttar Pradesh currently only has one international-standard cricket stadium – Green Park Stadium in Kanpur.
Once developed, the new stadium is set to outstrip Kolkata’s 65,000-capacity Eden Gardens (pictured) as India’s biggest cricket venue.