salt lake stadium
The Salt Lake Stadium in KolkataIANS

The Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government has used a special type of paint to ensure an eco-friendly atmosphere inside the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata, during the course of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup, sources have said.

With Diwali 2017 scheduled for October 19, the paint has been used to stave off flies which might disturb the players and officials inside the premises.

"It is known as Foxy paint," a source in the know said.

State sports minister Aroop Biswas conducted a final inspection of the entire stadium to check if things were in order ahead of the first match here between England and Chile on Sunday October 8. Iraq and Mexico play against each other in the second match of the day.

Kolkata's revamped Salt Lake Stadium, whose capacity has been reduced to 66,687 for the tournament due to security issues, will host 10 matches including the final on October 28.

"It is up to the spectators and all of us to maintain the stadium infrastructure and see to it that nothing is damaged," Biswas told reporters in Kolkata. "The biggest challenge for the government is to maintain the stadium after the World Cup," he added.

salt lake stadium kolkata
Kuntal Chakrabarty / IANS

400 stewards, including women, to be on duty at Salt Lake Stadium

A total of 400 stewards would be on duty at the Salt Lake Stadium during the tournament matches to guide and ensure the safety and security of the spectators, the Kolkata police have said.

Trained in soft skills, the stewards would be deployed in all the 13 blocks of the stadium, which is slated to host 10 World Cup matches including the October 28 final. A total of 120 of the stewards would be women, Bidhannagar Police Commissioner Gyanwant Singh told media persons.

The stewards, chosen from various units of the police, would be in plain clothes at the stadium, also known as the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan.

"The 400 stewards have been selected from our different units. There will be 30 or more stewards in each of the blocks. They will usher in the spectators from the gate to their seats, and look after the safety and security of the spectators," said Gyanwant Singh.

In case of any untoward incident, like if a spectator makes any racial comment, the steward would try to dissuade him politely. "If their pleas fall on deaf ears, then the police will step in to tackle the situation the hard way," he said.

The stewards will also play the primary role in leading the spectators from their seats to the gates if the need arises to carry out any emergency evacuation of the stadium.

Gyanwant Singh said the police were in touch with the world football's governing body FIFA with regard to the security arrangements. "They are the organisers of the event. So we are in regular touch with them," he said.

The FIFA regulations provide for appointment of stewards -- employed, hired, contracted or volunteering -- during its tournaments to assist in the "management of safety and security of spectators, VIPs/VVIPs, players, officials and any other person at the stadium, excluding those persons solely responsible for the security of designated individuals and member".

(with IANS inputs)