Kolkata, Feb 27 (IANS) The Barasat Stadium, which hosted several I-League matches this season, should be upgraded into a sports complex-cum-stadium, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee directed the sports department on Tuesday.
"The Barasat Stadium must be developed. It must be done in a great way as it is close to Kolkata also. It should be developed into a sports complex-cum-stadium," Banerjee said during an administrative review meeting held at the Rabindra Bhavan here.
She added that all costs incurred during the refurbishment would be borne by the sports department.
"The West Bengal government hosted the U-17 World Cup matches in a great manner. Now their decision to refurbish the Barasat Stadium augurs well for us and we hope this step will further boost football in West Bengal and India," I-League CEO Sunando Dhar told IANS over phone from New Delhi.
The CM's decision came after actor-cum-politician Chiranjit Chakraborty, a local MLA, drew her attention to the dilapidated state of the stadium.
Banerjee asked the Principal Secretary of Youth Services & Sports Department Sayeed Ahmed Baba to draw up a plan for the stadium's development.
The stadium, also known as Vidyasagar Krirangan, has a capacity to accommodate around 22,000 spectators and has an artificial turf.