During the Commonwealth Games, the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium was touted as one of the best in the world. Nine months on, the stadium tells a different tale.
The seats are under a blanket of dirt, the corridors haven’t been swept since October, when the Games took place, and seepage in the walls and leaky lavatories are a common sight. The main playing arena is strewn with mangled wires and paint in the seating area has already started to peel off. All this when the stadium, India’s largest indoor venue, was renovated at a cost of Rs240 crore!
Despite hosting a mega event, this state-of-the-art facility, which is also Asia’s second largest indoor venue, suffers from the country’s most common problem — official apathy.
No lessons learnt
In the build-up to the Games, the government had come under severe criticism for the slippage at the Yamuna Velodrome. Built at a whopping cost of Rs150 crore, water from the roof, caused by heavy downpour, had damaged the special wooden flooring of the cycling track.
Picture of neglect
The signs at the KD Jadhav Wrestling Arena are equally ominous. The elevated platform, where the bouts take place, has started to fall apart.
A closer look shows that the iron rods and fasteners, which hold the planks together, have got loose and caused the planks to come off.
Under the government’s ‘come and play scheme’, which aims to put the stadiums to optimum use, the Yamuna Velodrome was to throw open its doors from July 1, but the scheme is yet to take off.
“There are not many takers for cycling. We need at least 100 cyclists to run the scheme because the cost of maintenance is high. A lot of people approach us but when they learn that they have to bring their own cycles (which cost as much as Rs1 lakh), they back out,” said PK Raghav, administrator of the IG Stadium, Although there were reports that the government might provide some cycles for the scheme, officials say it is unlikely to happen.