HCA racing against time
Neelesh K Joshi Hyderabad: Cricket fans in the twin cities are waiting breathlessly for the commencement of the sixth edition of Indian Premier...
Neelesh K Joshi Hyderabad: Cricket fans in the twin cities are waiting breathlessly for the commencement of the sixth edition of Indian Premier League (IPL). The Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium (RGICS) will host the first match of the home team, Sunrisers Hyderabad on April 5. However, far from sending a note of satisfaction, the authorities at Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) are still running against deadline to keep the ground ready for the big night, when Sunrisers makes its IPL debut against Royal Challengers Bangalore. It is a tragic irony that when the entire country is anticipating an exciting spectacle, the ground realities at RGICS are causing heartburn. Work is still underway as of Friday even though the Stadium came in for flak for the shoddy canopy work when it hosted the second India-Australia Test. The stadium's newly constructed canopy is causing myriad problems and comes as the biggest hurdle for the floodlights, even though they have to hand over a match-fit stadium to the Sunrisers management before commencement of the IPL season. As it was felt that a permanent solution could not be put in place immediately, HCA has hit upon a make-shift arrangement to get the show going. HCA called for tenders, which was eventually won by Bajaj Group, who agreed to execute the work and bring in minor changes to the floodlight system on a temporary basis. They have decided to remove some of the rows that are exactly behind the canopy and added some more lights. This is likely to draw criticism because the lighting could directly affect the spectators seated around the canopy area. "The work will be over within the next three-four days. We are preparing the lighting system beside the canopy," said a senior official from Bajaj Group. It is reported that Rs 35 lakh is being spent on the floodlights system. Club owners are questioning the need to spend so much money when things could have been accomplished in time if there was a systematic planning. The only sigh of relief is that the stadium is expected to be ready for the big event even though the arrangement is temporary.