Raipur, Dec,01: The Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh stadium in Raipur, set to host the fourth T20I cricket match between India and Australia, faces a significant challenge hours before the game: a substantial part of the stadium is without electricity. The issue stems from an unpaid electricity bill dating back to 2009, NDTV reported.
The outstanding bill of ₹3.16 crore led to the disconnection of the stadium’s power supply five years ago. While a temporary electrical connection is in place, it only serves the spectators’ gallery and boxes. Consequently, the stadium authorities plan to use generators to power the floodlights for the match, the publication added.
Ashok Khandelwal, Raipur Rural Circle in-charge, mentioned that the Cricket Association Secretary applied for an increase in the capacity of the temporary connection. Although approval for upgrading to 1,000 KV has been given, implementation remains pending.
This electricity issue is not new to the stadium. In 2018, participants of a half-marathon were caught off guard by the lack of power supply. It was then revealed that the stadium’s electricity dues had been mounting since 2009, as per the publication.
The stadium’s maintenance was originally assigned to the Public Works Department (PWD), with the Sports Department responsible for other expenses. However, both departments have been embroiled in a blame game over the unpaid electricity bill.
Despite multiple notices from the electricity company to both the PWD and Sports Department, the dues remain unsettled. This financial deadlock has persisted even though the stadium has hosted three international cricket matches since the power cut in 2018.
Tarunesh Singh Parihar, media coordinator for the Chhattisgarh State Cricket Sangh (CSCS), expressed concerns about hosting international matches under these conditions. According to him, for major events, the stadium relies on generators as a workaround, NDTV reported. A temporary connection has been taken in the name of CSCS, he added.