Shiv Chhatrapati Sports City in Balewadi turns into a big Marriage HallInfo Guide — By The Desk on March 15, 2011 at 12:38 PM
Indian Express: Two days after the grand wedding of Vilasrao Deshmukh’s niece at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports City in Balewadi, for which it was converted into a big Marriage Hall, the entrance to the athletics stadium is still blocked with chunks of wood and the badminton hall is in a mess with garbage, bags, plastic chairs and carpets strewn all over.
On Monday, the assistant director of the complex, Sanjay Sabnis, said such events will be allowed again and there was nothing wrong in it.
“Given another opportunity, we will give the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports City out for a wedding like the last one,” Sabnis told the Express on Monday.
The badminton and table tennis halls had been converted into dining halls and the weightlifting halls turned into a room for staging songs and dances to entertain guests on the day of the lavish wedding.
The place is in a bad shape, but Sabnis says the wedding neither offset schedules of sportspersons, nor had any harmful effect on the stadium. “No sportsperson has been affected by the event. We did not have any sports competitions scheduled in any of the used venues. No important functions were scheduled in and around the date of the function and the floors were carpeted to ensure they did not undergo any damage,” said Sabnis.
A closer look at the venues would show that nails had been hammered into the woooden floor of the weightlifting hall, called the Jijau Hall during the wedding. The floor also had holes for poles used to raise the pandal (canopy). The badminton hall had trails of soot from cooking that took place.
Sabnis, however, agrees that the duration of such events was an issue that needed to be sorted out. “Duration has been a problem. The magnitude of the event caused the preparation, conducting and the wrapping up of the event a task that took over a week. Since we had no event (sport) around that date, we told them to take their time with the cleaning up,” he said.
When he was asked about the I-League match on Sunday, and the important match-eve practice session that Pune FC had to miss on Saturday because of the wedding, Sabnis said, “No function was organised on the football ground. If Pune FC people would have communicated with me about their practice, we would have made arrangements. But they failed to do so,” he said.
Narendra Sopal, joint director, Sports and Youth Affairs, Maharashtra, had come on record to say that the table tennis hall, the badminton hall and the weightlifting hall had been illegally used for the ceremony. Sabnis said. “Mr Sopal was speaking of the athletics complex and the warm-up track. The wedding party had paid Rs. 24 lakh and had the entire venue at their disposal…,” he said.