Protesting workers cut off water, Kotla left dry for four days

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Mar 09, 2016 10:30 IST
Protest by DDCA staff at Firoz Shah Kotla in New Delhi, on Saturday. (HT Photo)

Expect the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) to shoot itself in the foot. After DDCA got an all-clear from the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) on the Tuesday, paving the way for it to host the World T20 matches, the association was faced by a unique problem.

The agitating employees at the Feroz Shah Kotla, who are demanding bonus and increase in provident fund money, locked up the water supply ensuring the ground was devoid of it over the past four days. The ground has lost a bit of its green cover as a result of it and there is no water.

This comes with just a fortnight left for Kotla to host the matches.

Although the officials made light of the incident and said that they’ll sort it out soon and the water supply will resume on Thursday, the agitating employees are saying they won’t budge. The management had, in fact, offered them a bonus amount of Rs 14000 across the board. However, they didn’t agree to it.

“They are blackmailing us. Have you ever heard of anyone getting Rs 2,40,000 as bonus amount especially in a no-profit company like this,” said vice-president Chetan Chauhan. “We will not give in to their demands. We have already called up some retired employees and they have started to work.”

Chauhan said that the top 3-4 officials are demanding bonuses in excess of Rs 2 lakh whereas the rest want Rs 33,600 each. Besides they want the DDCA’s contribution to the provident fund to be increased. “That’ll create a big hole in DDCA pockets.”

The electronic lock system is operated only by the protesting employees and even though the manufacturing company’s employee came to help, he wasn’t allowed by the protesters.

No entry to old clubhouse

While the Delhi High Court had given all-clear for the entire stadium, the old clubhouse area, known as the RP Mehra block, was kept out of the permissions in a case heard on Tuesday as it falls quite close to the ASI-protected monument. As reported earlier, the case had been filed in 1997 by a member NC Bakshi.

The DDCA has been asked to allow only the media inside that block. “We still have the option of going to Supreme Court,” said Ravinder Manchanda.

However, sources say that the DDCA will not be able to use the section. The section would have had ICC boxes as well as other high-end tickets. The losses on tickets could be big.

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