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Spectators in, security out

delhi Updated: Oct 11, 2010 01:03 IST
Jatin Anand
Jatin Anand
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

When the going gets tough, tough security provisions go out of the window.

Haunted by images of empty spectator stands at stadiums and innumerable passes to sporting events quietly tucked away at its office, the Organising Committee (OC) has stopped maintaining a record of the people who are purchasing the tickets from various outlets.

"I went to Dilli Haat at INA to purchase a couple of tickets on Thursday. I was given a token number and asked to fill-up a form as I waited to be called to the ticket counter," said Lavanya, who goes by her first name only, a resident of Malviya Nagar.

"At the counter, they asked for an ID that I had on me. Since I wasn’t carrying my Driver’s Licence at the time I was told that I couldn’t buy the passes," she added.

The next day when Lavanya returned with her Driving Licence, it was a completely different story.

"It was the strangest thing — there wasn’t any form to fill this time. I went to the counter and produced my licence even before asking for the passes. To my surprise, the man just gave me the passes and asked for the money," she said.

Various locations such as the Central Bank of India branches, stadiums, IRCTC outlets at Connaught Place and the Dilli Haat at INA among others where passes to sports events were being sold drew massive crowds even before the Games had begun on October 3.

"Keeping in mind the innumerable people who were buying passes to the events, we had suggested the OC to make registration and note down the particulars of customers as a compulsory security measure to maintain a database," said a senior Delhi Police officer.

The idea was to have a ready database in order to generate a list of suspects in the event of a contingency. "It seems that a dip in sales has prompted the OC to put security measures on the backburner," the officer added.

A senior OC official denied any such security measure was in place: "Tickets have always been available on first-come-first-serve basis on presentation of cash and no ID is needed."