Advising a revision of the mega-project regarding renovation of the Bangabandhu National Stadium (BNS), the scrutiny committee of the Youth and Sports Ministry yesterday instructed the National Sports Council (NSC) to consult experts and stakeholders before submitting a final project paper for the country's premier multi-purpose venue.
The NSC prepared a draft project proposal worth Tk 87 crore last month which featured aspects such as installing sheds over galleries, replacement of some 23,000 chairs, renovation of four dressing rooms, upgradation of floodlights, ground, giant screens, CCTV-based security system, PA system, installation of athletics turf, digital advertisement boards, etc.
"After seeing the proposal, I realised that we should discuss more with experts and stakeholders because the stadium should be of international standard. The meeting instructed the NSC to review the proposal again involving technical people. I personally disagreed on some points of development in the draft proposal and asked to drop some of the works," Youth and Sports secretary Ashadul Islam told The Daily Star after the meeting.
"The ground should be of international standard as it hosts international football matches. There should be enough toilet facilities so that the spectators can use those comfortably. The meeting also instructed increasing allocation for a gymnasium," Islam said. "As the stadium is named after the father of the nation, we want to improve its facilities properly as it is not possible to bring structural changes.
"Building a museum is a good idea and we will try to form an archive full of historical information regarding sports activities at BNS," added Islam.
It may be mentioned here that The Daily Star Sport ran a story on January 30 titled 'Spending spree or spending with purpose' singling out some basic requirements that the venue needed. The article addressed, among other things, the need for a gymnasium, setting up of a sports museum, installing equipments for maintaining the football pitch, reserving space for physically challenged spectators and restoring the original plan of the stadium with enough toilets and urinals in the plan.
NSC's assistant director (planning and development) Shukumar Saha informed that they took recommendations from that article positively and tried to incorporate those logically.
"There were some recommendations in The Daily Star article and we took and those positively and will try to implement those as far as possible."
"Expanding the local dressing rooms is a big decision because it would involve the removal of existing shops, however, we will standardise it as much as possible while there will be some designated spaces for disabled spectators," Saha said, adding that they would assess the current facilities of the stadium before finalising everything.
Saha expects to revise the project within a short period of time after receiving resolutions of the meeting and sending it back to the youth and sports ministry.