Ind-Eng ODI in doubt as Wankhede yet to get OC

With the Wankhede Stadium yet to receive a full Occupancy Certificate from the BMC, the India vs England ODI on October 23 could land Mumbai Cricket Association in trouble

With just 11 days to go for the third ODI between India and England, the Wankhede Stadium is yet to get a full Occupation Certificate (OC) from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). Work on the storm water drainage has not been completed at the new Wankhede Stadium, which was given a provisional OC for the World Cup and the Indian Premier League earlier this year.

Problem place: Men at work at the Wankhede Stadium, preparing
for the Oct 23 ODI against England. Pic/Atul Kamble

The need to complete work on the storm water drainage, "immediately to get full occupation certificate from BMC" was listed in the June 3 Managing Committee's draft minutes (copy of which is with MiD DAY).
Earlier this year, MiD DAY had reported that the Rs 285 crore spent on Wankhede's renovation could be a waste as parts of the stadium would have to be dug up since the dilapidated storm water drains underground were not repaired.

According to a source, there has been little effort to complete work on this critical aspect. "Nobody has bothered to follow up with the designated agency and complete the storm water drainage work. There was sufficient time to do the work after the IPL concluded (on May 28)," the source said.

MCA vice-president Prof Ratnakar Shetty was hopeful of getting the OC soon. "We are in the process of getting it (full OC). We are following up with the BMC," he said without elaborating on the reasons for the delay in getting the certificate.

Laxman Vatkar, chief engineer of BMC's storm water drainage department, said an OC would not be issued until the MCA repairs the dilapidated drainage. "They (MCA) have to repair the storm water drainage and only then we can issue an OC. It's an important criteria to get an OC. The MCA has not followed up with us on this issue," said Vatkar.

Sources in the BMC said no penalty would be levied on the MCA if they host the match without getting the OC.
However, IPS officer-turned-lawyer YP Singh said the MCA could be in the red if they violate a BMC act. "MCA's concerned officials could be booked under BMC act Section 353 A if they host the match (on Oct 23) without an OC.

They could be prosecuted for this. An OC takes care of all the laid down parameters so, if that (OC) is not yet issued, it means something is lacking. These laws are meant for people's safety, so even the spectators are at risk," said Singh.

"MCA will be subject to investigation by the BMC for hosting the match without the certificate. The BMC can lodge an FIR too," added Singh. The Wankhede Stadium will also host the third and final Test against West Indies on November 22.

(With inputs from Rinkita Gurav)

What is storm water drainage?
Storm water drainage is the process of draining excess water collected due to rain and sleet. Excess water can lead to flooding, making the property unsafe.

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