By: Pune Pulse
December 1, 2023
Pune: The Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh stadium in Raipur will host the fourth T20 international match between India and Australia on Friday. However, there are reports of power outages in certain areas of the stadium just hours before the crucial game. This is due to an unpaid electricity bill that dates back to 2009.
The stadium currently has an unpaid bill amounting to ₹ 3.16 crore, resulting in the disconnection of its electricity supply five years ago. In response to a request from the Chhattisgarh State Cricket Association, a temporary connection was installed, but it only caters to the spectators’ gallery and boxes. Therefore, for the match, the floodlights will have to be powered by a generator.
Ashok Khandelwal, Head of Raipur Rural Circle, has confirmed that the Secretary of the Cricket Association has submitted a request to enhance the capacity of the stadium’s temporary connection. Currently, the capacity stands at 200 KV, but the application to upgrade it to 1 thousand KV has been granted. However, the work on the upgrade is yet to commence.
In the year 2018, a significant commotion arose among the athletes who were taking part in a half-marathon when they discovered that the stadium lacked an electricity supply. Subsequently, it was revealed that the outstanding electricity bill had remained unpaid since 2009 and had accumulated to a staggering amount of ₹ 3.16 crore.
Following the completion of the stadium’s construction, the responsibility of its maintenance was transferred to the Public Works Department (PWD), with the remaining expenses to be covered by the sports department. Both departments have been accusing one another for the outstanding power bill.
Despite receiving multiple notices from the electricity company, both the PWD and Sports Department are yet to clear their outstanding dues. It’s worth noting that three international cricket matches have taken place in the stadium since the power connection was disconnected in 2018.
Tarunesh Singh Parihar, the media coordinator of Chhattisgarh State Cricket Sangh, expressed doubts regarding the feasibility of hosting international matches due to potential issues. He mentioned that they resort to using generators as an alternative arrangement for major matches. Parihar also mentioned that although he is unsure about the exact amount of the outstanding bill for stadium lights, a temporary connection has been established under the name of CSCS.