MSSA kids' parents feel spectator stands are still unsafe despite repairs

Updated: 21 November, 2019 08:21 IST | Sundari Iyer | Mumbai

Parents of kids participating in the MSSA inter-school Athletics meet feel that despite repairs, the spectator stands at University Sports Pavilion are still unsafe

The big gap between two sets of seats shows the danger for kids at the University Sports Pavilion, Marine Lines yesterday. Pic /Sundari Iyer
The big gap between two sets of seats shows the danger for kids at the University Sports Pavilion, Marine Lines yesterday. Pic /Sundari Iyer

The spectator stands of the University Sports Pavilion, Marine Lines are still risky despite repair work being carried out recently.

Hundreds of students were in attendance on Day One of the Mumbai School Sports Association (MSSA) Athletics meet on Wednesday and parents who accompanied their kids didn't take long to be terrified about the safety of their kids. Some stands were shaky while a few parts of the viewing area didn't have planks to sit on.

On December 8 last year, mid-day brought to light the safety factor at the ground run by the Mumbai University (see pic of page). Some missing planks have been replaced but gaps below the seating area are huge enough for kids to fall through. Some planks have been displaced, others are to shaky to walk on and it's not easy to climb some steps which are two and a half feet high.

Shirley Gomes, a Lilavatibai Podar (Santacruz) parent said she shifted to the lowest part of the stand since she was scared seeing the gap at one of the top seats in the stadium. "The Mumbai University officials who are handling the stadium should ensure they maintain the stadium. They need to cover the gap between two steps. Young athletes or their siblings who accompany them to the stadium could easily fall to the ground or injure themselves.

StepsThe steep steps which athletes and parents have to cope with to watch the action from the stands at  the University Sports Pavilion. However, some steps are short and easy to set foot on. Pic/ Bipin Kokate

Meanwhile, another parent on condition of anonymity, said there has been no maintenance work done at all and displaced planks have made things dangerous. "I visit this place often since my son is an athlete. The stadium has been repaired very recently and it took quite some time to get the planks in place and the stands repaired. There are still places where there are no planks. Elderly people who accompany kids find it difficult to climb the stairs. How will the sporting future be bright when the grassroots level is dark?," he asked.

Meanwhile, Santosh Madhav, an Andheri resident, who accompanied his son to Marine Lines, said: "If this is what a repaired stadium looks like, I can't imagine how a broken one would be. I heard parents talk about the shaky planks and no planks at some places, so I did not climb up and didn't allow my son to do so too," said Madhav.

Dr Mohan Amrule, the University Sports Pavilion director, said: "I don't have any reaction to this as I have newly joined. I cannot comment on it. There is a system to do so [comment] because this is government-related work." Interestingly, non-government aided schools are charged approximately Rs 30,000 per day to host athletics meet at the University Sports Pavilion.

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First Published: 21 November, 2019 07:51 IST

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