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NO ELECTRICITY in stadium hosting India vs Australia today: Haven’t paid dues worth ₹3.2 cr since 2009

The Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh stadium in Raipur, slated to host the fourth T20 international between India and Australia, is currently facing a significant challenge as parts of the stadium are without electricity. This issue stems from an unpaid electricity bill accumulating since 2009, amounting to ₹3.16 crore.

Five years ago, the electricity connection to the stadium was disconnected due to the outstanding bill. To facilitate ongoing activities, a temporary connection was established at the request of the Chhattisgarh State Cricket Association. However, this temporary setup only covers specific areas such as the spectators’ gallery and boxes. Consequently, for the upcoming match, floodlights will have to be powered by a generator.

Efforts to address this problem include an application submitted by the Cricket Association’s Secretary to enhance the capacity of the temporary connection at the stadium. Presently, the temporary connection stands at 200 KV, with an approval for an upgrade to 1,000 KV. However, work on this upgrade hasn’t commenced yet.

This is not the first time the stadium has faced issues related to electricity supply. In 2018, participants in a half-marathon realized the absence of electricity, leading to public outcry. At that time, it was revealed that the long-standing unpaid bill was the reason for the power disruption.

The responsibility for the stadium’s maintenance was handed over to the Public Works Department (PWD), with the remaining expenses expected to be covered by the Sports Department. However, both departments have been involved in blaming each other for the unpaid power bill.

Despite receiving multiple notices from the electricity company urging payment, neither the PWD nor the Sports Department has cleared the dues, leaving the situation unresolved. Notably, the stadium has hosted three international cricket matches since the power connection was cut in 2018.

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