MCA catering supervisor sells tickets in black
On Day 4 of third India-WI Test, MiD DAY catches man selling Rs 100 tickets for five times their price
As thousands of cricket-crazy fans flocked to Wankhede Stadium hoping to witness master blaster Sachin Tendulkar's 100th century, black marketers made a killing by selling match tickets to these overzealous fans at astronomical prices.
Pravin Shinde (circled), a catering supervisor associated with MCA,
was selling match tickets for Rs 500 in black right outside the stadium
Shockingly, this illegal sale of tickets was being done right outside the stadium's north-bound stand and one of the operators was a catering supervisor, associated with the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA).
He managed to achieve this feat, despite the ticket counter claiming that the tickets for the crucial 4th day of the ongoing India-West Indies Test match were sold out on Wednesday itself.
MiD DAY caught Pravin Shinde red-handed while selling tickets for an exorbitant sum of Rs 500 per ticket against their official price of Rs 100.
At around 9 am, half an hour prior to the start of the match, a man was spotted negotiating with a group of people about how much they were willing to pay for the tickets.
When the reporter approached him inquiring whether he had five extra tickets, she learned that the black marketeer was a catering supervisor named Pravin Shinde, as his official ID card stated.
However, Shinde informed that he only had two extra tickets. "Charges will be Rs 500 per ticket," he added quickly.
After the reporter tried negotiating with Shinde about slashing the price, he sniggered and before the deal could be sealed, a couple of men approached him and purchased the remaining two tickets.
When the reporter again approached Shinde, he said, "I have sold all the tickets that I had on me. Let me go inside and get some more. Take my mobile number and call me later."
After 15 minutes when the reporter called Shinde, he said that he couldn't arrange for the tickets as all of them have been sold out. Surprisingly, Shinde called the reporter at around 3.45 pm and asked her to get in touch with him in case she wanted tickets for future matches at the stadium.
When the reporter contacted Prof Ratnakar Shetty, vice-president of MCA, he said, "Shinde is not an MCA employee, but a mere volunteer."
When questioned, how a mere volunteer managed to get access to so many tickets, Shetty replied, "This is a serious matter and I am shocked to learn about it from you. We will look into it and if found guilty, strict and immediate action will be initiated against Shinde."
Like Shinde, several others were spotted making fortunes by selling tickets in black outside the stadium. When the reporter approached a teenager, asking him how much did a ticket cost, the boy replied, "Just on price, Rs 1,500 for each ticket."
After requesting him to lower the price, he rudely replied, "Others are ready to pay much more for this ticket.
I cannot slash the price.
Since there is a strong possibility of Sachin scoring his 100th century today, there is a high demand for these tickets. Moreover, I stood in the line yesterday for five hours to secure these tickets and now I want to make sure that my efforts don't go to waste."
Commenting on the issue, Zunjarrao Gharal, an official from Marine Drive police station said, "If someone is found black marketing in the future, we will take action."
When the reporter informed him that she had photographic evidence of the racket that was being
operated right outside the stadium in presence of the police, Gharal disconnected the call. Despite repeated attempts, Dr Chhering Dorje, DCP, Zone I, remained unavailable for comment.