It’s festive season in Delhi University, but there’s no place to party. As most colleges kick off annual festivals, there are some left high and dry as their sports grounds are currently unavailable, thanks to the Games Organising Committee.
In 2009, the Delhi University Polo Ground, Sports Complex North Campus, SGTB Khalsa College grounds and Ramjas College grounds were taken over by the Organising Committee of the Commonwealth Games. The grounds were used for various sporting events and practice sessions, and were to be handed back to the University by the end of October. However, there’s still no sign of that happening, due to which festivals and competitions have been postponed or scaled down.
“It is not fair. This is the time when some of the biggest festivals and rock shows are held in these grounds. We don’t even have our own grounds, so we can’t practice for competitions either,” says Bharat Chowdhary, a student of Ramjas College.
“There are some special rubber mats on the Polo grounds, and University authorities say that hosting festivals here will spoil these. So, the annual events have been held for now — it is very disappointing,” says Rohit Chahhal, state secretary, ABVP.
The Youth Nexus, an annual Hindustan Times event that takes place at the Polo Grounds, may be postponed due to the same reason. “We are looking for alternate venues, but it seems likely that we’ll host it in February next year, when the problem with the venues has been sorted out,” says a spokesperson.
It’s not just the festivals that are taking a backseat; sports, too, have taken a hit. “Officially, we have still not been returned our sports ground. We cannot use it till the time the OC doesn’t return it, and, as of now, we have no clue when that will happen,” says Dr Rajendra Prasad, principal, Ramjas College.
In response, Lalit Bhanot, the Secretary General of the OC, said the matter is being looked into. “I think they are in the process of returning the grounds, I will have to check though,” he said.