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Lock-out, snakes at IG Stadium

india Updated: Sep 23, 2006 02:12 IST
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The AC system is obsolete: Three of the plants are useless while two are functioning below capacity.

The residential wing adjacent to the velodrome, meant to be used for national camps, has been locked since 2002, and the site opposite to it has become a junkyard.

The roof continues to be in a pathetic state, resulting in leakage when it rains.
These are just three of the problem areas in the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium, which was in the news for lacking an effective fire safety system two years ago.

Though the Sports Authority of India officials say that fire safety is not an issue as they have got an NoC from the fire safety department, they agree that other problems have rendered the stadium useless.

"We are waiting for the Commonwealth Games... by the time they start, the whole structure will be redone,” says Ratan P Watal, the SAI Director General.

The sad state of the dysfunctional air conditioning system is the most peculiar. The plant uses the M-11 gas, which has been banned because of its adverse effect on the ozone layer.

The authorities were given ample time - four years - to phase out the plant. The deadline expired in 2005 yet work on it has not been started. A visit to the stadium presents a sorry picture, with junk littered everywhere and parts of the air-conditioning pipes chipped off.

"Our job begins when we get the money,” said CPWD’s Narinder Singh, in charge of the plant. "We are waiting for the money.”

The residential wing next to the velodrome has its own set of problems. With all sorts of waste and junk lying there and also near the archery centre, snakes and scorpions have become a threat. "At times it can get unsafe,” said an official. "Also, the foundation of the rooms is unstable, and there is a danger it might give in.”

Watal says that there is no major problem with the rooms but agrees that the stadium is lying in a state of disuse. "We do not want to work in bits. Since the stadium will be reconstructed for the Commonwealth Games, there is no point in wasting money at this stage. We’ll do it in one go and it will come in use in 2010,” he adds.