Famed Eden Gardens, a picture of concern

Sorry state: Renovation far from complete

Famed Eden Gardens, a picture of concern

Having missed the deadlines to finish the work twice already —- November 30, 2010 and January 15 this year — the CAB this time promises to hand over the World Cup venue on January 31.

“There is no construction work left. There are only a few things here and there that need to be fixed. Once the fitting is done, the venue will be ready and we will hand it over on January 31,” CAB joint-secretary Biswarup Dey told PTI on Monday.

However, the sight of Eden Gardens in shambles might give a different picture with heavy iron beams, bricks and mortars and tons of garbage lying all over the stadium as bulldozers work overtime to clear the mess less than 24 hours before the ICC delegation’s visit. But the CAB maintained that all is well with Eden Gardens.

Asked if he was happy with the progress, CAB supremo Jagmohan Dalmiya shot back, “Then why are we here for? We would have given up long time ago if we were not happy... This is not the first time we are hosting a big tournament like this. We have already hosted World Cup matches twice (final in 1987 and semifinal in 1996 ).”

Giving example of hosting back-to-back matches during the Hero Cup in 1993, Dalmiya said, “We hosted two semifinals and the final of the Hero Cup and never ever our organisational capability has been doubted.”

“It’s the media that pressed the panic button and created a general misconception.

“Renovation work is done based on the existing basic structure of the stadium and it will be ready in time,” Dalmiya said.

The ground reality, however, is that the much-talked about Press Box and VIP enclosures are yet to be ready as they are temporarily used as godowns for building materials or as shelters for construction workers.

The bucket seats are yet to be fixed in the upper tiers of five blocks of A, B, C, K and L while the basic amenities of toilets are in poor shape with building materials strewn all over as puddles have formed here and there acting as breeding ground for mosquitoes. But the CAB joint-secretary said there was nothing to worry about.

“These minor things will remain even a day before the match. We will have to clean and clear even on the eve of a match,” Dey said.

As fas as the safety-related measures, the fire officials are in dark as they can only carry out the inspection once the renovation work gets over.

“We will visit the Eden Gardens after the renovation work is complete and only then we can say how much the CAB has complied with the directives that we wanted,” Debapriya Biswas, director-general of the fire department, has said earlier. Amid all the rubble, the silver lining, however, is that the ground and the dressing rooms are ready.

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