The weightlifting auditorium was conceived as one of the showpiece projects of the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Built at a whopping cost of Rs. 80 crore, it's another venue that has become an eyesore these days.
The site is now out of bound for lifters. The Sports Authority of India (SAI) had plans to sublet it to generate revenue, but the plan failed to take off as it required large-scale repairs.
The state-of-the-art facility does not have a proper fire-safety system and the false ceiling has started to come off. "There are several other shortcomings," said a SAI official. HT is in possession of a letter written by the National Buildings Construction Corporation Ltd (NBCC) additional general manager (dated May 18, 2012) pointing out the grave shortcomings in the auditorium.
"We have informed the concerned agency (CPWD) to rectify the shortcomings, but we haven't received a feedback," said the SAI official.
Immediately after the Commonwealth Games, the maintenance work was handed over to the CPWD. But in February, the CPWD handed over the maintenance work to NBCC.
NBCC additional general manager, TN Khambra, in his letter has pointed out 18 issues, including cracks in the first basement roof and unfinished terrace work, which immediate attention.
Despite several rounds of meetings between SAI and the two agencies, nothing concrete has happened. In fact, both the CPWD and NBCC are passing the buck.
Another top NBCC official has pointed out glaring shortcomings in the construction work. "The false ceiling provided during the CWG was temporary, the electrical work is shoddy and the public address system has not been handed over to us," said the official.
On the other hand, the CPWD says it's been five months since the venue was handed over to the NBCC. "It's their job to maintain the infrastructure," said a CPWD official.
Even as budding lifters are forced to use one of the basements areas of the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium to polish their skills, the auditorium is being used for organising functions for government institutions and prize distribution ceremonies.
Luckily, no untoward incident has been reported. But one could be round the corner.