Raipur stadium owes Rs 3.16 cr in electricity bills; spent Rs 1.44 cr on generators for India vs Australia T20
Despite the outstanding dues, the India vs Australia T20 clash in Raipur remained unaffected with the Chhattisgarh State Cricket Sangh (CSCS) secured a temporary connection from the Chhattisgarh State Power Distribution Company Limited (CSPDCL) as needed.
The Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Cricket Stadium in Nava Raipur which hosted the fourth T20 match between India and Australia on Friday operates without a regular electricity connection due to unpaid state government bills exceeding Rs 3 crore over several years. Despite the outstanding dues, the match proceedings remained unaffected with the Chhattisgarh State Cricket Sangh (CSCS) secured a temporary connection from the Chhattisgarh State Power Distribution Company Limited (CSPDCL) as needed.
"Power connection was provided to the stadium in 2010 on the application of the stadium construction committee. By 2018, outstanding bills had reached Rs 3.16 crore, following which the supply was disconnected," said Ashok Khandelwal, superintending engineer (Raipur circle), CSPDCL.
"Later, the stadium authority applied for a temporary connection of 200 kVA which was provided keeping in view security concerns as people visit it to watch matches," he added.
In preparation for Friday's match, the Chhattisgarh State Cricket Sangh secured a temporary connection and made a deposit of Rs 10 lakh with the company, as mentioned by the official.
"We have served notices to the state Sports and Youth Welfare Department for the recovery of dues. The department had earlier cited lack of budgetary provision. Recently it has assured that all the pending bills will be paid," said Khandelwal.
The president of CSCS, Jubin Shah, clarified that the cricket association does not possess ownership of the stadium.
"It is owned by the state government and managed by the Sports and Youth Welfare Department and Public Works Department. The association does not have any outstanding electricity bills to pay for the stadium," he said.
"Apart from the temporary power connection, we have our own external power sources. Earlier too matches were held there in the same way," Shah added.
Generators fuel the floodlights in the stadium to prevent interruptions. In case of a power supply disruption, restarting the lights requires half an hour, according to him.
According to a report in TOI, to host a match under floodlights, a power connection of 1000 kilowatts is required. Significantly, ensuring stadium-wide lighting and air conditioning necessitates a minimum connection of 435 kilowatts. However, for floodlights, an electricity requirement of 600 kilowatts led the CSCS to invest in generators, incurring a cost of approximately Rs 1.44 crore.