Uncertainty over ISL matches at Rabindra Sarovar reducing

  • Joydeep Thakur, Hindustan Times, Kolkata
  • Updated: Sep 23, 2016 16:46 IST
Footballers Jewel Raja and Pritam Kotal (garlanded), two of ATK’s homegrown players, at the Kolkata airport on Thursday. The squad flew in after pre-season training in Madrid. (HT Photo)

Uncertainty around Indian Super League (ISL) matches at Rabindra Sarobar, Atletico de Kolkata’s (ATK) home ground in ISL 3, seems to be finally reducing. ATK are scheduled to start at home against defending champions Chennaiyin FC on October 2.

“We all want the matches to be held. But we also want them to not disturb the biodiversity of this eco-sensitive zone. Hence, we would be proposing measures to protect plants and animals when the matches are on. If these conditions are met, we don’t have any problem,” Subhash Dutta environment activist told HT late on Thursday.

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Dutta had moved the National Green Tribunal (NGT) alleging that evening matches at Rabindra Sarobar stadium could disturb the nearby “eco-sensitive zone” which includes the lake. The lake is home to diverse flora and fauna and is protected under the National Plan for Conservation of Aquatic Ecosystems.

“The bright light from the stadium could disturb the animals that live in the area. Hence, we would propose to cover the stadium’s perimeter with a black cloth. We have no problem if the bright light from the stadium doesn’t fall on the trees and the surrounding,” he added.

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Other conditions including no bursting of crackers, no use of public address system and no haphazard parking would also have to be met. A five-member committee set up by the tribunal would submit these proposals to the tribunal next week.

The NGT had formed a five-member expert group to inspect the venue following Dutta’s PIL which pleaded that night matches should not be organised without proper environmental monitoring.

The Rabindra Sarobar stadium was selected as ATK’s home as the Salt Lake stadium would not be available because it is being readied for the 2017 U-17 World Cup.

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