The Gujarat High Court on Monday declined a petition seeking the cancellation of demolition and reconstruction plans of the iconic Motera stadium in Ahmedabad.
A PIL in this matter had been moved by Khemchand Rajaram Koshti, an advocate at the high court. The court declined to issue any notice while saying that the Gujarat Cricket Association was a private body and could therefore go ahead with its plans for the stadium.
An RTI activist told Jantakareporter.com that a tender had recently been floated by the GCA for reconstruction of the Sardar Patel stadium in Motera. However, the language of the tender was found to be dubious as it does not mention the highest or lowest bid and provides a period of seven days for contractors to bid on it.
It is next to impossible for a normal contractor to estimate the inventory cost for such a tender inside seven days, the RTI activist added.
“No logic behind demolition of the stadium has been disclosed by GCA. This move is without the application of mind and it would deprive the cricket lovers of Ahmedabad from watching international matches,” read the petition.
The RTI activist has also now written a mail to iconic Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, requesting him to take notice of the matter being a Rajya Sabha member and a great cricketer himself.
“I want to draw your attention to this news where Sardar Stadium Motera is being demolished. With you being cricket lover and an icon, you would appreciate that this Stadium has historic importance and it will be best to leave this Stadium as-is and request Gujarat Govt and GCA to build a new stadium elsewhere,” the activist wrote in a mail directed to Tendulkar.
It is pertinent to note that an international match was being planned at Motera stadium during the upcoming India vs South Africa home series but the venue had been shifted due to the reconstruction plans.
The RTI activist told Jantakareporter.com that while the Motera stadium was being rebuilt to increase spectator capacity on the lines of the popular Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia, most of the ground remained empty whenever international matches were held in the past.
“They are rebuilding the stadium taking into consideration the IPL. But they cannot deprive cricket lovers and local players from using the facilities during the reconstruction process. There are no other proper grounds in the state. This is a clear indicator that there is huge corruption involved. GCA will now be declared under debt and money will be raised,” the RTI activist wrote in a mail directed to the BCCI anti-corruption team, Gujarat state collectors and Gujarat Chief secretary.
The RTI activist also argued that no such plans of reconstruction were forwarded during the five-year long tenure of Prime Minister Narendra Modi as GCA chief. Ever since Amit Shah has been made president of GCA, there are reports of such plans, the activist added.
“We have been making attempts to make Motera world’s best and state-of-the art stadium. For which the design and the project is ready. But due to the recent polls it has been postponed,” Shah had said at a function at the ground last year.
“Also, keeping in mind the High Court’s comments that the GCA is a private body, if another so-called state association is brought forward privately, will the BCCI consider its players for national selection?” the Ahmedabad-based RTI activist said in an interview to Jantakareporter.com.
The Motera stadium is an important venue in cricket history. It is the same ground where legendary cricketer Sunil Gavaskar completed 10,000 runs and Kapil Dev became the highest wicket-taker of that time.