Published On : Fri, Sep 29th, 2017

Ind-Aus ODI: Cops put VCA on notice over vexed issues but gives go-ahead nod

VCA Stadium, Nagpur

Nagpur: The Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) that is hosting the fifth ODI between India and Australia at Jamtha Stadium on Sunday, October 1, has been put on notice by city police over a number of vexed issues. Police have shot a letter to VCA asking it to show its preparedness and compliance from competent authorities on 22 contentious points. Interestingly, the letter doesn’t mention if permission for hosting the ODI has been granted or denied.

Unsettled by the letter, the VCA seems to be banking on the premise that once the Chief Minister of the host state gives the go-ahead to the BCCI, it is the job of the police to provide security. As per procedure, the cricket Board writes to the CMs when the schedule is drawn.

When Nagpur Today contacted the Joint Commissioner of Police Shivaji Bodhe for his comments on the issue, he said that the VCA has been given a “clean chit” as it has complied with all the 22 issues raised by police. Hence the VCA has been given a go ahead with the hosting of the fifth One Day International between India and Australia on Sunday, October 1.

However, the million dollar question here is: Have the police personally verified the compliance of 22 points they had raised with the VCA?

Commissioner of Police Dr K Venkatesham said the VCA has promised to comply with all issues pertaining to the legal requirements required for the conduct of the match. If the association falters on any of the 22 points, action will be taken on its officials depending on the seriousness of the violation. Police are in constant dialogue with association officials, the top cop said.

The Police Commissioner stated that police are going to focus on security, traffic arrangement and crowd management on the day of the match. To provide security for an ODI match, the police charge more than Rs 40 lakh which has to be paid after the match. Payment of pending dues is one of the points mentioned in the letter.

The city cops had taken a strong stance when they booked all VCA officials after the India vs England T20 match on January 29 this year. VCA office bearers were charged with violation of Environment Protection Act 1986 and Noise Pollution (regular and control rules 2000), and not complying with official order thereby endangering lives of people and their properties. The matter was heard in High Court in February and March after the VCA officials approached it for quashing the FIR. The association officials alleged they were booked only because they had failed to provide VIP passes as demanded by some police officials. In response, the police defended their action and produced records claiming the VCA did not meet the required standards for operations. The police also registered a third offence of forgery and cheating.

As per rules, the VCA applies to the administration. After seeking NOC from police and fire departments, the administration used to recover the entertainment duty of 15% from VCA. Then the district administration would seek state government’s approval. Government would issue a notification giving permission for sale of tickets. Finally, the administration would give permission for sale and issue performance licence for holding a match.

The VCA submitted an application with the administration a month ago. It was forwarded to the Zilla Parishad office as the administration said now it was no longer the authority after GST implementation. Collector Sachin Kurve said VCA could go ahead with sale of tickets and also conduct of the match. As per amendments in norms in December 2015, the VCA does not need a performance licence. VCA started sale of tickets after giving an undertaking it was ready to pay whatever fees demanded by the government. It also assured inclusion of GST in the tickets, he said.