Jaipal Singh Stadium is located in the centre of the city, of the capital of Jharkhand, Ranchi. Named after Jaipal Singh Munda, a noted hockey player who had many achievements to his name including the 1928 Summer Olympics where the Indian Field Hockey team won gold under his captaincy, he was also a civil servant and later turned into a politician fighting for the rights of tribal communities in Jharkhand. Being constructed in the name of such a noteworthy personality, the stadium has almost lost it’s worth. Not only has it been neglected by the authorities, but it has been converted into a dumping yard.
The infrastructure of the stadium is falling apart. Broken windows and doors, fractured walls and the corrupt smell of the place has become its identity. Over the years a number of proposals were made by the State Government and the Ranchi Municipal Corporation to revamp the place, into a new international level stadium with playing grounds for almost all the sports, but none of those proposals were actually executed.
The stadium became more discussed in 2017 when a national level wrestler Vishal Kumar Verma, who died due to electrocution.
In 2008, a proposal of turning the stadium into a convention centre, park and a shopping complex was made by the then urban development minister, Raghubar Das. The proposal faced a huge protest from sports lovers and residents. A committee named ‘Jaipal Singh Stadium Bachao Sangharsh Samiti’ was formed by the protesters in order to save the stadium.
After that in 2013, the Jharkhand Government and the Ranchi Municipal Corporation decided to re-construct the stadium into a sports complex. An allocation of 3.28 Crores was made to build the stadium featuring a football ground, tennis court, badminton court, multi-gym, two pavilions, open-air theatre, food court, two ponds, statues of martyrs of Jharkhand like Sindhu kanhu, Birsa Munda, etc., and shops for local vendors. The football ground was proposed to be 300 meters long and 150 meters wide and the gym would have all the modern equipment for the players. The new design was mapped out by the ‘Chaddha and Associates’. The renovation work of the stadium began on June 20, 2013 and the stadium was supposed to be ready by November 10, 2013. But within a few days the construction lost its speed and almost came to a halt. Since then it has been lying into a pile of dust.
Within the same time frame a new vendor market, named Atal Smriti Vendor Market, was constructed on the grounds of the stadium by spending Crores. But the stadium was left untouched engulfed into an atmosphere of annihilation.
Again, in July 2020, the Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) announced that they are going to resume the renovation work of the stadium. The estimated cost is 8.40 Crores. A proposal regarding the same has been made in front of the State Government. Sport lovers and residents are waiting for the Government to provide the necessary aid to the RMC so that the stadium can finally be restored. Being the only stadium in Ranchi with such a favorable location, young players are looking forward to the reopening of the stadium so that they can practice their skills. It’s high time that the glory and legacy of Jaipal Singh Munda and his achievements is carried forward by young players.