The newly renovated RK Khanna Tennis Stadium is a fine sight from outside. Once inside, it doesn't take an expert to figure out that the venue is far from being complete.
The stadium is hosting the Asian Junior Tennis Championships but the opinion is divided on its readiness to play host.
Hindustan Times had earlier reported that the players were happy with the surfaces and facilities seemed to be top-notch. In this light, the words of Virendra Batra, the venue administrator, fall in place when he says, "As far as the playing facilities are concerned, the stadium is 90% complete. The 10% that remains is minor repair and finishing work."
The difference in opinion stems from the attitude of the administrators towards the work that remains to be completed. A stroll through the venue reveals, as the pictures also show, parts of the new construction crumbling.
The stairs, particularly those in the spectators' galleries in Courts I and II are the worst off (Pics 1 and 2). It is a relief for the organisers that the only people who use these steps are the two-dozen security personnel, and at times, the parents of the players. Had there been a sizeable crowd, the impact could have been worse.
Moving on, another eyesore catches the eye. Around the floodlight mast at the corner of Court III, next to the spectators' gallery, is a large open ditch, which could cause grievous injuries to spectators.
The same is the case with the debris lying all around the stadium. Walking towards the practice courts may not be an obstacle course, but the description isn't too far off the mark.
The men's washroom near the media lounge was getting fitted with urinals on Wednesday. In the West, health and safety regulators would have probably cancelled the event, but in India, we have no such problems.
Batra brushed aside the concerns, saying the shortcomings were minor. "It is like a car, if the indicators are not working, you can still drive."
The point he missed was if you drive without indicators, you are likely to have an accident!