Lahore: The world’s largest hockey venue, the National Hockey Stadium Lahore having the first ever Desso blue turf in Pakistan will be ready for use by the end of the month as the Dutch experts are busy laying the synthetic surface at the arena these days.
Convener Sports and Deputy Speaker Punjab Rana Mashood Ahmed Khan along with Usman Anwar, Director General Sports Board Punjab on Tuesday visited the stadium to see the progress of the work of the laying of the blue turf at the venue.
TS Builders, which was handed over the work after the previous contractor’s contract was cancelled, is carrying the task with the help of Dutch experts and the laying of the turf would be completed in one and a half week time, by December 26. “We will hold a proper ceremony to mark the opening of the new turf by arranging an exhibition hockey match as we did when the Johar Hockey Stadium was opened for use,” said Rana Mashood, while briefing the media about the laying of the blue turf.
“The issue of the turf was stalled only due to the delaying tactics of the previous contractor but the work is satisfactorily being carried out,” said Mashood.
The previous contractor was not only using delaying tactics but also wanted to use the old and worn out shock pads which were not changed in decades. But now the every material is being FIH and Desso Company certified.
“The issue of the previous contractor even went to the court but the decision was given in the SBP favour because we held transparency supreme and the contract of the previous company was cancelled,” he said.
“He even tried to apply political pressure but on the direction of the chief minister an inquiry was conducted with clear instructions of maintaining quality and transparency in the entire process and now the new turf is being laid,” he added.
Speaking on the occasion, Usman Anwar informed that the Desso turf was directly acquired and for much lower rate. “The company’s own representatives are laying the turf which is an encouraging aspect. This is the same surface being laid at 70 percent of the hockey venues of the world,” he added.
“We are here to work for the development of sports and to establish quality sports infrastructure and for the purpose no one would be allowed to damage the sports system.
“We not only want progressive Punjab but also want strong Pakistan and for that we would go any length. The conduct of the Punjab Youth and International Sports Festivals are the open examples of our commitment for the uplift of the youth and sports in the province,” he said.
Usman further added that the turf and shockpads of polyurethane are of the same Desso Campany which have a 10 years guarantee and the stadium will be ready by December 26 for the holding of the matches.