Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of Major Dhyan Chand Sports University in Meerut on Sunday.
A huge crowd welcomed the prime minister in the Kranti Dhara amid the chants of "Modi-Modi".
The prime minister first visited the Augurnath temple to offer prayers. He was accompanied by Uttar Pradesh governor Anandiben Patel and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. He then went on to pay floral tribute at Shahid Smarak.
Addressing the crowd in Meerut, Modi said, "The university worth Rs 700 crores will provide international sports facilities to the youth. Every year, more than 1000 girls and boys will graduate from here. Earlier, only criminals & mafias used to play & tournaments of illegal land grabbing happened."
Lauding Uttar Pradesh chief minister's efforts, Modi said, "Yogi ji's government is playing jail-jail with criminals."
"Five years ago, the daughters of the same Meerut were afraid to leave their homes after dusk. Today the daughters of Meerut are bringing laurels to the entire country,” Modi said.
Emphasising the historic importance of Meerut, the prime minister said, “Meerut's place in the history of India is not only that of a city, but Meerut is also an important centre of our culture and strength. This area of Meerut has also contributed significantly in giving a new direction to independent India. Whether it is a sacrifice on the border for the defence of the nation or respect for the nation in the playground, this region has always kept the flame of patriotism burning.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi lays the foundation stone of Major Dhyan Chand Sports University in Meerut pic.twitter.com/TxZygpJ93Z
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As per an official statement issued by Prime Minister's Office, the university is established at Salawa and Kaili villages of Sardhana town in Meerut at an estimated cost of about Rs 700 crore.
ANI said in a report that one of the key areas of focus for the prime minister is inculcating sporting culture and establishing world-class sporting infrastructure in all parts of the country. The establishment of Major Dhyan Chand Sports University at Meerut will be a major step towards fulfilling this vision, PMO said.
The Sports University will be equipped with modern and state-of-the-art sports infrastructure including synthetic Hockey ground, Football ground, Basketball, Volleyball, Handball, Kabaddi ground, Lawn tennis court, Gymnasium hall, Synthetic running stadium, Swimming pool, Multipurpose hall, and a Cycling Velodrome.
It will also house facilities for Shooting, Squash, Gymnastics, Weightlifting, Archery, Canoeing, and Kayaking, among other facilities with the capacity of training 1080 sportspersons including 540 female and 540 male sportspersons.
Uttar Pradesh is slated to go to the Assembly polls early this year. In the 2017 Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, the Bharatiya Janata Party bagged 312 seats out of the 403-seat Uttar Pradesh Assembly while Samajwadi Party (SP) bagged 47 seats, Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) won 19 and Congress could manage to win only seven seats, ANI said in a report.