The upcoming fourth T20 international between India and Australia is scheduled to take place today at Raipur’s Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh stadium. However, with only hours remaining before this crucial match, sections of the stadium are without electricity. The reason behind this inconvenience is an outstanding electricity bill that has remained unpaid since 2009.
The stadium currently bears an overdue bill amounting to ₹3.16 crore, resulting in the disconnection of electricity five years ago. A temporary connection was subsequently installed upon the request of the Chhattisgarh State Cricket Association, covering only the spectators’ gallery and boxes. For today’s match, the floodlights are expected to rely on a generator.
Raipur Rural Circle in-charge Ashok Khandelwal mentioned that the Secretary of the Cricket Association has submitted an application to augment the capacity of the temporary connection at the stadium.
Currently, the temporary connection operates at a capacity of 200 KV. Although the application to upgrade it to 1,000 KV has been approved, actual work on this enhancement has yet to commence.
The year 2018 witnessed a public outcry during a half-marathon when participants discovered a lack of electricity supply at the stadium. It was then disclosed that the stadium’s electricity bill, unpaid since 2009, had accumulated to ₹3.16 crore.
Following the stadium’s construction, maintenance responsibilities were entrusted to the Public Works Department (PWD), while the Sports Department was expected to cover additional expenses. A persistent blame game between these two departments ensued, each accusing the other for the unpaid power bill.
Despite receiving multiple notices from the electricity company demanding clearance of dues, neither the PWD nor the Sports Department has made any payments. Notably, three international cricket matches have been organized at the stadium since the power disconnection in 2018.
The Chhattisgarh State Cricket Sangh (CSCS), the current custodian of stadium management, asserts that they do not owe any outstanding payments to the electricity department.
We are unable to comment on the outstanding dues of the department that managed the stadium before the CSCS assumed responsibility. The connection associated with any existing dues was under the name of the relevant government department,” stated Jubin Shah, President-CSCS.