While close to 35,000 seats (34,469 precisely) at the Arun Jaitley Stadium, which hosts five matches of the World Cup that starts next month, are now gleaming and look resplendent in the shining sun; the colour mix looks slightly odd.
The top tier is green, the middle ones are orange whereas the bottom ones are blue.
“Initially,” said a Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) director Ashok Sharma, “the plan was to make it look like the Tri-colour (orange, white and green) but then wisdom dawned on the officialdom (through Indian cricket board’s advice), since the white cricket ball to be used during the World Cup would have been lost in the background of white seats.”
Hence, orange was shifted to the centre and blue was placed at the bottom.
The white colour was reflected through white seats stencilling ‘DDCA’ in the top tier green seats on West and East Stands.
Nevertheless, the work is almost complete with only some civil work remaining.
“The BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) pointed out certain things after recce and touchwood with the help of BCCI and president Rohan Jaitley, the stadium is almost ready. We have 35,000 new chairs and 58 new toilets. The stadium has been painted afresh, new AC plant has been installed, waterproofing has been done,” said DDCA joint secretary Rajan Manchanda on the sidelines of the World Cup trophy unveiling at the Ferozeshah Kotla grounds of Arun Jaitley Stadium.
“There are special facilities for women. We acted upon one complaint [by a spectator during India-Australia Test this year]. We took it seriously and built 58 new toilets.”
The toilets will have special facilities for women. There will be space in the corner of each of the women’s toilet, with dispenser for sanitary napkins and a facility where children’s diapers can be changed. Women will also be able to breastfeed their children in the space, which is being said to be a cubicle.
Every match will last on an average for seven hours, so the idea is to make things easy for women.
“We would have kept diapers for kids too, but parents generally are sensitive about infection. We might keep some diapers just in case,” said DDCA media in-charge PK Soni.
Patriot visited toilets on the ground floor of the West Stand. The dispenser or facility for kids hadn’t been yet set up but the toilets looked spick and span, since they have been newly built.
The men’s restroom had 27 urinals as well as six rooms with toilets (WCs) and five wash basins.
The women’s section had eight rooms with toilets (WCs) and eight wash basins.
On the other end were smaller restrooms with WCs and wash basins. For example, the men’s section had three wash basins, 17 urinals and three WCs.
An official pointed out that they have kept one or two Indian style seats in each of the restrooms while the majority are western style.
“Everything is new. The cover for the ground is new. We can cover the entire ground in seven minutes [in case of rain],” added Manchanda.
There are also been arrangements for former cricketers.
“We have made arrangements for former cricketers in the marquee section. Everyone will be sent an invite. They and their wives will be invited. If international cricketers from outside Delhi want to see, they have to notify 48 hours before the game and we will make full arrangement for them,” said Manchanda further.
BCCI vice-president Rajiv Shukla, who was the chief guest at the trophy unveiling on Thursday, said, “The renovation has been good. I feel the crowd will enjoy in this new ground. People from across the world are coming to watch the World Cup.”