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IPL 2018: Delhi readies to host games; court asks civic body to review safety reports

Delhi high court is hearing a plea raising concerns about the structural stability of a block at Ferozeshah Kotla ground while Delhi Daredevils bosses plan to restrict use of the area for Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 games

cricket Updated: Apr 20, 2018 23:43 IST
Richa Banka
The Ferozeshah Kotla ground will host its first Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 match on April 23.
The Ferozeshah Kotla ground will host its first Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 match on April 23.(Getty Images)

The Delhi High Court directed South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) on Friday to take second opinion on the structural stability of Ferozeshah Kotla’s RP Mehra block while a senior Delhi Daredevils official said the structure’s use would be restricted while hosting Indian Premier League matches from April 23.

Justice Rajiv Shakdher told the civic body to study stability reports given by consultants of SDMC and Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) and file an affidavit before the next hearing on May 10 stating if it was satisfied with the findings.

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The single-judge bench hearing a petition raising concerns of the block’s stability cautioned SDMC that it should not be too eager to give clearance.

The court told SDMC: “In the enthusiasm to give a seal of approval, don’t end up making a mistake. If you make a mistake, someone from your organisation will pay for it.”

The court’s remarks came while hearing an application filed by the court-appointed administrator of DDCA which said if it is not allowed to use the old club house broadcasting equipment and personnel, IPL matches would not take place at the ground as scheduled.

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The application was made in the main petition filed in 2016 by one NC Bakshi claiming the RP Mehra block was unauthorised as it was built without any sanctioned plan, was a threat to public safety and human life and liable to be demolished.

The SDMC submitted it cannot be held responsible in case of any mishap and the onus was on DDCA. “The structural stability is the responsibility of the owner/occupier solely as per the building bye-laws and the DMC Act,” it said.

Tanuj Khurana, counsel for the petitioner, said the court has directed SDMC to employ a government agency to test the structural stability of the block, but DDCA itself is saying the structure is unsafe and pillars and beams need retro-fitting and jacketing.

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Delhi Daredevils CEO Hemant Dua though said: “The match is on. We are selling tickets. I’ve a mail from DDCA administrator Vikramajit Sen asking me to go ahead. We’ll have only the cameras and commentators in the disputed structure, the RP Mehra Block.

“The next hearing is on May 10 and till that time, the matches will be held.”