Footballers in Kashmir to soon get first Astro turf

Srinagar, Dec.6 : Now, footballers would be able to practice their game, even during winters as Kashmir would soon get its first Astro turf.

The work on the turf is going on and is expected to get completed within 15 to 20 days.

In the wake of the rising popularity of football among youth of the region, the state government has started construction of an Astro turf ground in a stadium in Srinagar.

Executive Engineer of Jammu and Kashmir State Sports Council, Mushtaq Ahmed, said the whole cost of the project was Rs.450 crore. It would be completely funded by the Government of India.

"We are making synthetic turf here which will be first-of-its-kind. So, after the work is over, we can have international players here and hold international tournaments as well. This is for the first time that we doing this type of work in Kashmir. All this is being made on a synthetic turf base, which will be an all weather turf and players can use it even in the winters. Along with the turf we will also be making the sitting arrangements on the sides. We are hoping that the turf will be ready in the next 15-20 days, after which we will open it for the players," said Ahmed.

Expressing his happiness,former football player Bashir Ahmad said: "We can be benefit a great deal from this, as most of the sports activities are off during winters here. The sportsmen can also utilise this in their favour to a great deal as football is one of the leading sports in the world, so they can use this turf to bring out their potential."

A local resident, Bilal Ahmed, said: "Yes, this will be very beneficial for the people of Kashmir, as we don't find such things in the region. I don't think that there has been an astro turf made in the region before this. Sportsmen and sport lovers both will be benefited from the construction of the astro turf, as they will be able to play and watch sports here. Kashmir already lacks things like these, so it's very good that they are making a thing like this here."

Besides that the stadium will be having a huge seating capacity also. The stadium has been kept all weather so that players can continue to play during rains or winters.

According to the officials the whole project has cost the government above Rs 16 crore ($2,596,121) so far and the special turf is being imported from the United States.

--ANI (Posted on 06-12-2013)

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