Ludhiana MC fails to put indoor stadium to optimum use

Was built to boost sporting activities, but facilities here are offered at high costs which discourage organisers
The indoor stadium was built at a cost of <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>85 crore and inaugurated by former Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal in November 2016 amid much fanfare.(HT Photo)
The indoor stadium was built at a cost of 85 crore and inaugurated by former Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal in November 2016 amid much fanfare.(HT Photo)
Updated on Sep 09, 2019 10:32 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | ByAmarpal Singh, Ludhiana

Constructed at a cost of 85 crore and inaugurated by former deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal in November 2016 amid much fanfare, the indoor stadium on Pakhowal Road is gradually becoming a white elephant for the local civic body. 

Since its inauguration, the stadium has hosted just about 15 events and till date, the Ludhiana municipal corporation (MC) has received only 32.5 lakh against the hire charges from the event organisers. 

Most of these events were cultural programmes, movie shoots, followed by private sports meets.

The stadium was constructed to give a boost to sporting activities in the region, but the very purpose seems to have got defeated with the high costs of facilities that deflect most of the event organisers.

An MC official, on the condition of anonymity, said a couple of months ago, air conditioners (ACs) at the stadium stopped working during an event due to some technical glitches.

“Since then, the stadium has not been allotted to any event organiser as the AC chillers are in need of repair,” he added.  

In a proposal forwarded by the department in MC’s finance and contract committee (F&CC) meeting, it was mentioned that ACs were installed about four years ago and haven’t been serviced since then. Now, the air conditioning system requires immediate repair/service and comprehensive maintenance for at least one year, read the proposal, wherein 24.35 lakh has been sought for the same. 

Another MC official revealed that the department charges around 1 lakh ( 88,000 plus taxes and other charges) for using the stadium for a day.

“As the corporation has just got 100kW load from the PSPCL, organisers have to arrange generator sets of at least 1,000kW. This has put a damper and many organisers are not convinced to hold their events here,” he added.  

“However, the civic body is planning to get a connection of 1000kW so that event organisers can avail proper facilities. But, this will lead to increase in rental charges,” the official said, while adding that the stadium was a world-class facility with capacity to accommodate more than 4,000 people and over 200 cars.

MC commissioner Kanwalpreet Kaur Brar said the civic body had been planning to improve the indoor stadium to attract the users.

“Some proposals have been prepared, but those will be disclosed after the approval,” she added.

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