In a shocking turn of events, Raipur’s Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh Stadium is grappling with a power crisis just hours before the fourth T20 clash between India and Australia. The heart of the issue lies in an unpaid electricity bill amounting to a staggering ₹3.16 crore, a debt that has loomed over the stadium since 2009, according to NDTV’s report. This shocking revelation has cast a shadow over the cricketing extravaganza.

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A 5-Year Darkness

The unpaid bill led to a severe consequence five years ago when the electricity connection at the stadium was abruptly severed. Despite a temporary connection being installed upon the Chhattisgarh State Cricket Association’s request, it only covers the spectators’ gallery and boxes. The floodlights, crucial for the game’s visibility during the match, will be powered by generators due to the outstanding bill.

“As far as the stadium lights are concerned, I don’t know how much bill is outstanding but a temporary connection has been taken in the name of CSCS,” Mr Parihar said.

Administrative Tug of War

The blame game intensifies as the Public Works Department (PWD) and the Sports Department point fingers at each other for neglecting the bill. The stadium’s maintenance was entrusted to PWD post-construction, while the Sports Department was expected to cover additional expenses. This ongoing dispute has left the bill unpaid, triggering a precarious situation on the eve of a significant international cricket clash.

From Notices to Silence

Despite repeated notices from the electricity company to both the PWD and Sports Department, no payment has been made to settle the overdue amount. The outstanding bill has amassed over the years, reaching a point where hosting international matches is now jeopardized. The stadium, since losing power in 2018, has hosted three international cricket matches under alternative power arrangements, causing concern among stakeholders.

The Skepticism Looms

Chhattisgarh State Cricket Sangh media coordinator Tarunesh Singh Parihar expressed skepticism about the stadium’s ability to host international matches smoothly. He revealed that for significant matches, generators are utilized as an alternative arrangement. Parihar emphasized that the stadium lights are powered by a temporary connection under the name of CSCS, raising questions about the impending darkness that could overshadow this high-profile cricketing clash.

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