Thursday, February 03, 2011

Cricket World Cup organisers ask government to reduce security fees

The home department is considering International Cricket Council’s (ICC) demand for concession in charges levied for security provided by the state police for the upcoming World Cup cricket matches. The government has assured the organisers that it will not treat these matches on a par with IPL games.

In a meeting held at Mantralaya on Wednesday to discuss security measures during the World Cup matches scheduled to be played in Mumbai and Nagpur, ICC officials requested home minister RR Patil to reduce the fees for security provided inside the stadium. They requested the department to not charge for bandobast along the approach roads.

Mumbai Police had billed Rs11 lakh to Mumbai Cricket Association for a one-day match held at Wankhede stadium two years ago, before it was closed for a makeover. With revised rates, the charges are expected to go up for security provided within the stadium, prompting ICC to make the request. “World Cup matches cannot be treated on a par with the other one-day matches played with commercial interests in mind. We have requested the government for concessions,” said Ratnakar Shetty, tournament director, ICC.

The other major issue discussed at the meeting was the shortage of parking space near Wankhede.

The home department has suggested making an alternative arrangement at Azad Maidan or of using the parking lots at Inox theatre and other places in Nariman Point. Since parking is banned on the main road parallel to Queen’s Necklace after beautification of the coastal promenade, the other option being thought of is parking on the service roads attached to the gymkhanas on Marine Drive. More than 5,000 vehicles are expected to be driven to the stadium by spectators.

Three matches are scheduled to be played at Wankhede, including the final match on April 2, while Vidarbha Cricket Association is hosting four matches at its stadium in Nagpur.

Minister of state for home Satej Patil said, “International matches are a matter of pride for the state. We can provide adequate security, and there will be no need of deputing central forces.”

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