Pitiable infrastructure a blot on national tourney

Pitiable infrastructure a blot on national tourney

The State government had recently sanctioned Rs 1.5 crore for renovation of Dandamudi Rajagopal Rao Municipal Corporation (DRMC) Indoor Stadium, the...

The State government had recently sanctioned Rs 1.5 crore for renovation of Dandamudi Rajagopal Rao Municipal Corporation (DRMC) Indoor Stadium, the venue for Air Costa 79th Senior National Badminton Championship. But on the ground, several players voiced their dissent against the deplorable facilities at the venue.

The badminton tourney, which is being held in Vijayawada after a gap of 36 years, has failed to impress the participants.

“Some players are finding it extremely difficult to play in the heat at the indoor stadium in the absence of a centralised cooling system. The number of air coolers are also inadequate. The ceiling fans are not being switched on in the indoor stadium while matches are underway. Spectators are also facing severe inconvenience due to lack of fresh air inside the stadium. Players from northern States are not able the bear the heat, which is affecting their performance,'' said a sports official on the condition of anonymity.

“Player amenities are not up to the required levels. There is no scope for fresh air in players’ changing rooms too,” added athlete Karma Meena of Rajasthan.

It is not just the venue but the accommodation which is a major grouse for the players.

“On the accommodation front, a lot more needs to be done for the conduct of national sports events like this in this major city,” lamented the players.

The Andhra Pradesh Badminton Association (APBA), which is overseeing the conduct of championship, had provided accommodation to several players in hotels in the vicinity of the railway station. Generally the facilities in hotels close to the railway station are poor. Some players complained about the facilities at the hotels. The hotels, which are not even rated three star, are also far away from the venue.

Expressing his displeasure over the poor accommodation provided to him by the APBA, Surender Rathi of Haryana, said, “There are no basic facilities at the hotel. It is not even up to the 3 star standards. The quality of food is deplorable. The menu for lunch and dinner is the same for players. There are players from 24 states and many are finding it difficult to eat the food.” Complaining against the poor accommodation offered to her, Prarthana of Nagaland, said, “We are not being served any food or snacks after going to the hotel at the end of the day’s play. Even if we are hungry at night, we don’t know where to go for food as we are new to the place and do not know the local language. The organisers need to focus on players' accommodation if Vijayawada wants to host major national tournaments in the future.”

By: Ch Somya Sruthi

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