The Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi, which is set to host five matches at its Ferozeshah Kotla grounds during the upcoming 50-over ICC World Cup in October-November, is undergoing refurbishment to make it ‘spectator-friendly’.
There was massive criticism when India hosted Australia in a Test in February this year over stadium facilities with the prime target being the seating in common stands and lack of clean toilets, especially for women.
“The entire 34,469 seats – for which tickets and passes will be issued – will be changed. We have already received four tenders for chairs, three for turnstiles, three for air-conditioning in corporate boxes and two for air-conditioning in old clubhouse,” said Rajan Manchanda, the joint secretary of the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), who attended the recent Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) meeting on World Cup preparations.
“The focus of the meeting held on Thursday was to make the World Cup spectator-friendly. We are getting Rs 50 crore from the BCCI and our entire cost of renovation is coming to Rs 43 crore plus taxes. The BCCI is paying Rs 50 crore to all hosting associations for the World Cup,” he added.
He says that the stadium needs to be handed to the International Cricket Council (ICC), the host of the World Cup, by September 15.
“There is a 45-day deadline and there is a possibility that the entire seating cannot be changed within that period. So, we will ensure that 10-12,000 seats will be changed and the rest after the World Cup.”
The toilets, however, are expected to be renovated completely prior to the hand-over.
“The toilets are being changed entirely this time. All of them. They are being refurbished and made new. The tiles will be changed completely. GI pipes will be changed. Jaguar fittings will be put in place. You will see the difference,” he added.
As per rough estimates quoted by him, the chairs will cost Rs 8 crore. The turnstile system and the accompanying software can cost upwards of Rs 8 crore, painting of the stadium will cost Rs 4-5 crore while toilets will also take up a big chunk.
The tenders will be opened next week and a decision to allot work to the winning tender taken after that.