The plan of UPCA to rope in a particular company for the installation of new flood lights at the Green Park Stadium in Kanpur received a jolt as the state government has refused to accept the proposal.
The government said the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA) should come through proper channels instead of asking it to favour M/s Audi Stadia Consultants.
“In view of the MoU, any estimate or proposal regarding this should be sent to the sports director through the designated agency,” the sports directorate letter to the regional sports office in Kanpur said.
Soon after the two matches of the Indian Premier League (for the first time) this year took place, the UPCA suggested the name of M/s Audi Stadia Consultants Pvt Ltd and a budget of Rs 1,583.93 lakh for the installation of new flood lights at UP’s only Test centre, which is scheduled to host its first Twenty20 against England on January 26.
The venue will also be hosting a Test match between India and New Zealand from September 22.
“UPCA, with M/s Audi Stadia Consultants Pvt Ltd, had coordinated with various international companies and studied the entire subject in detail. It arrived at the conclusion that M/s Musco USA and its counterpart in India, M/s Dev Musco, have the perfect solution to flood light system,” UPCA’s director PD Pathak stated in the letter (in possession of HT) to RSO at Kanpur.
“Any permanent construction at the venue (as per the MoU) is the sole jurisdiction of the state government and it would follow the rules like tendering of the project as there are many players in the field,” said an officer on condition of anonymity.
“Advocating for a particular company, and that too by flouting the norms, means that there is a deal between the people concerned. This practise will not be supported by the government,” he added.
Interestingly, the UPCA, which had given a go ahead to the existing flood lights (with some modifications) for IPL matches a few months ago, is now terming it insufficient. It says that flood lights are almost 15 years old and almost obsolete. The new required Lux level (mechanism to measure the strength of the light) cannot be achieved from the existing flood lights.
In fact, the lights at the Green Park (worth Rs 5.50 crore) were installed in 2002 and not even a single match under the lights could be played until this IPL season. The reason for this was truss roofing of the newly constructed directorate and VVIP pavilions.
This, however, deprived the venue from hosting a number of ODIs and the government was even criticised for this by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in its report last year.