DSO shifts events to other venues as its own basketball court goes to ruins
The Rajiv Gandhi District Sports Complex (RGDSC), at Dharavi was inaugurated with great fanfare in July last year by former Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan.
Deep cracks on the basketball court of the Rajiv Gandhi District Sports Complex at Dharavi. Pics/Shadab Khan
But the effect of poor maintenance of facilities there is already being felt. As a result, the District Sports Office (DSO) city basketball tournaments that would have been held there are being conducted at two other venues — the Indian Gymkhana (Matunga) and the Shishuvan School playground (Kings Circle).
The basketball court at the RGDSC is in shambles. Cracks have developed on the playing surface, making it impossible to conduct games. To make matters worse, an electric pole has been erected at the edge of one of the boundary lines of the court. Not only that, a couple of trees too have been planted just beside the boundary with their branches jutting out onto the court!
Built by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) on a 12,430 square metre plot, at a cost of Rs 23 crore, the sports complex has facilities for outdoor and indoor games.
Stanly Louis, coach of Our Lady of Good Counsel (Sion) is glad that matches are not being held at the venue. "Thankfully, DSO matches are held at other venues and not at Dharavi. The basketball court there is unplayable," he said.
Meanwhile, another coach, on condition of anonymity said, "No matches can be held at the Dharavi basketball facility. There isn't much distance between the swimming pool and the court, making it impossible to have any matches. Also, with cracks on the court, it is good for nothing."
Branches of the trees planted on the boundary line of the basketball arena jutting out onto the courts
On his part, DSO basketball head Subhash Navande said: "We planned to conduct our tournaments at different venues as we have only one court at Dharavi. I was posted to the city just three months ago. As we were not having the tournament there, I didn't pay much attention to the condition of the court."
Meanwhile, Deputy Director of Sports and Youth Affairs, Mumbai division, Anand Venkeshwar remained unavailable for comment. Repeated calls to his mobile phone went unanswered.