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Aizawl: Football-loving people of Mizoram will be in for a treat as the newly-elected Mizo National Front (MNF) government headed chief minister Zoramthanga is embarking on a milestone project to construct an ‘elevated’ football ground in the state.

State sports minister Robert Romawia Royte told EastMojo on Sunday that the Centre has approved in-principle the proposal for construction of the elevated football ground in Aizawl, which will be the first of its kind in the Northeast region.

The minister had discussed the matter with officials of Union ministry of housing and urban affairs in New Delhi last week. “The housing and urban ministry strongly appreciated the proposal for elevated football ground at Aizawl as it assured optimal utilisation of limited flat land in multiple manners,” he said.

The ministry also assured immediate sanction for the new football ground, he added.

According to Royte, the elevated football ground will be constructed in Aizawl. Ground floor of the stadium will be used for parking lot while artificial turf will be laid on the first floor, he said. “On behalf of sporting fraternity, I express our gratitude to chief minister Zoramthanga , deputy chief minister Tawnluia and ministry of housing & urban affairs  for their logistic help and positive decision at their respective levels,” Royte said.

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Royte also met Union sports minister Kiran Rijiju and sports secretary RS Julaniya and appealed them to speed up technical vetting of laying astro-turf at football grounds in the newly-created district headquarters of Saitual and Hnathial.

Both Rijiju and Julaniya assured the minister of early sanction of infrastructural development projects in the state. In fact, the construction of Saitual and Hnathial football grounds were halted in 2018 due to direction from the North Eastern Council (NEC).

Royte also told this correspondent that he had met Sports Authority of India (SAI) director general, Neelam Kapoor during his visit to the national capital last week. He said that the SAI sanctioned new centre in the state and also agreed to lay astro turf at Kolasib’s Saidan ground, near Assam border.

Royte, who also hold tourism portfolio, called on Union tourism minister PS Patel on July 5 and asked him to inaugurate new 18 holes golf course at Thenzawl in Serchhip district. The Union minister also promised to take up detailed project reports of Mizoram tourism department to the ministry.

Earlier in January, the Centre had promised to construct six football grounds in Mizoram when Zoramthanga and Royte met with former Union sports minister Hardeep Singh Puri.

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