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L-G not satisfied with Kotla arrangements

Sujay Mehdudia

Joshi inspects stadium along with MCD, DDCA officials


  • Finds facilities for spectators inadequate
  • Building material dumped at entry points
  • MCD pleads helplessness to remove it

    NEW DELHI: Stating that the authorities were trying their best to ensure smooth conduct of the sixth One-Day International cricket match between India and Pakistan at the Ferozeshah Kotla Stadium here this coming Sunday, the Lieutenant-Governor of Delhi, B.L. Joshi, on Thursday expressed "dissatisfaction" with the ground conditions, facilities for the spectators and the seating arrangements inside the stadium.

    This was in total contrast to the stand taken by the Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit, who had earlier this week inspected the stadium and stated that she was fully satisfied with the arrangements and Delhi was ready to host the prestigious one-day encounter.

    Mr. Joshi, along with the Mayor of Delhi, Satbir Singh, the Chairman of the MCD Standing Committee, Mukesh Goel, and the Municipal Commissioner, Rakesh Mehta, held a prolonged inspection of the stadium as well as the facilities for the various segments that would be present during the match. The Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) was represented by its president, Arun Jaitley, and its vice-president, Chetan Chauhan.

    Mr. Joshi went around the stadium and sought to know what arrangements were being made for the VVIPs and other visiting dignitaries who would be present during the match. He was taken to the enclosure that would seat the visiting Pakistan President, Pervez Musharraf, and the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, along with other VVIPs including the former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi. He also took a round of the Club House area as well as the stands constructed for the spectators and asked for information and the kind of facilities being extended to the crowds in view of the strict security arrangements.

    It was while taking a round of the outer limits of the stadium and the entry points into the ground that Mr. Joshi pointed out serious discrepancies in the arrangements. He was reportedly upset over the fact that the construction material had been dumped at the entry point of the spectators' entry gates.

    He asked Mr. Mehta to get his own men to remove the construction material when the DDCA officials and the contractor expressed their inability to remove the material in such a short time.

    At this point, Mr. Mehta informed Mr. Joshi that it would not be possible to lift and relocate such heavy construction material and no such site was presently available with the MCD. This did not go down well with the Lieutenant-Governor who pointed out that facilities for the spectators and ground conditions were not adequate and a lot needs to be done. However, keeping in mind the importance of the one-day contest and the fact that it would attended by the hi-profile dignitaries, it was decided that no stone would be left unturned to ensure the event went off smoothly.

    The Lieutenant-Governor was also briefed by Mr. Mehta on the steps taken to beautify the areas around the stadium and the car parking spaces created in various parts of the city to facilitate the movement of vehicles and crowds.

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