Bhubaneswar: No major event can be successful without fans’ support and this is true for the men’s Hockey World Cup which kicks off at the Kalinga Stadium here Wednesday. And when the event is the marquee event of hockey, people in Odisha are simply crazy. While the World Cup is an event for everyone to celebrate, the presence of Hindi film superstars like Shah Rukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit and music maestro AR Rahman at the inaugural function of the event Tuesday has not only added glitter to the 14th edition of the World Cup, but also steeped the excitement among the fans. The scene at the venue was one of oneness and joy celebrating the grandest event of the game.
A beeline of fans was since the break of the day at the Kalinga Stadium Tuesday for redemption of their tickets bought online earlier. The fortunate few who succeeded in getting a ticket for the inaugural ceremony were seen proudly displaying their entry passes before the lensmen who had assembled at the venue to capture the ecstatic moments. Fans of the India team were seen dresses in colourful costume with tattoos of the Indian Tricolor and carrying banners of super stars Madhuri and SRK.
Kalkee Krushna, a the city girl and big fan of Shahrukh Khan, told the Orissa POST that the very thought of watching SRK so closely gave her goosebumps and it would be a dream fulfilled for her to watch the super star from such close quarters. She hopes and prays that SRK give her an autograph.
Dayanidhi Dahima, a fan of the ‘dhak dhak’ girl, said he was excited to be able to watch Madhuri Dixit performing at the stadium. Claiming to be a big fan of Madhuri, he said that he had watched all the movies that the ‘dhak dhak’ girl starred in. Though past her prime, Madhuri’s charm still enchants him and he considered it a privilege for him to watch her perform live.
Akshaya Rout of Kanas, on the other hand, was a depressed man. Donning the Shiva costume, he said he was making a last bid effort to secure a ticket for the programme. He said that he had come to the stadium hoping in Shiva avatar hoping to get an entry into the stadium – by the grace of the God.
Security beefed up at stadium
Security has been beefed up inside as well as around the Kalinga Stadium keeping in view the World Cup. More than 75 platoons of police including five Quick Response Team (QRT), 2 STUs and one Anti- Terrorist squad, have been deployed in the area. In addition, 180 CCTBV cameras have been installed inside the stadium alone.
Also the Commissionerate Police have set up a patient transportation corridor in the stadium to treat any ailing or injured player or spectator at the Apollo Hospital or Capital Hospital. This apart, the Health department has set up first-aid kiosks in the three gallery stands of the stadium with ambulance vans for each gallery stand.
To prevent any incident of stampede inside the stadium, the Commissionerate Police have made special arrangements to ensure smooth movement of the spectators.