CWG OC to give 30 % free tickets

first_imgThe lacklustre public response to most of the events in the Commonwealth Games prompted Organising Committee (OC) vice chairman Randhir Singh to call for giving free entry to at least 30 per cent of the spectators.Crowds outside a ticket counter on Thursday.”I feel that 30 per cent of all stadiums should be thrown open for the public. Tickets may be distributed at the gates on a first come first serve basis. People should be encouraged to come and watch the events,” he said.”There have been some great performances, but unfortunately not many spectators are around to see them. It is such a pity,” he added.This came on a day when the government asked the OC to get its act together so that tickets were made available to the people.”There have been reports that some stadiums were wanting in audience, while in others, tickets were not available,” urban development minister Jaipal Reddy said after the group of ministers (GoM) on the Games held a meeting. Sports minister M. S. Gill, tourism minister Kumari Selja, chief minister Sheila Dikshit and OC chairman Suresh Kalmadi were also present at the meeting.However, four days into the Games, the tickets still remained elusive. Mismanagement and poor technology didn’t help matters either.With the holiday season setting in, the paying public is starved of tickets. Even the sarkari babus are aghast that tickets are not coming their way. Sports minister M. S. Gill’s office was reportedly upset that tickets were not available at all.advertisementEmpty stands at Delhi’s Jawarharlal Nehru Stadium.While OC officials said tickets sales were picking up, there was no clue where the complimentary tickets, which comprise almost 20 per cent for each venue, were.Sources said the number of free tickets, reportedly distributed by the OC to the ministry and the Sports Authority of India, was shocking.”Worse, there are no tickets for India-Australia or India-Pakistan hockey matches. We do not have swimming or boxing tickets either,” a source added.Angad, a Class XI student at Guru Harkishan Public school, called up the call centre and found out that tickets were available for the swimming event. But he had to wait for an hour at the counter as the server had crashed. And when his turn came, he was told the tickets had been sold. “I called up the call centre again and they said the tickets were available. I don’t know whom to believe,” he said.Shilpa Singhal, who had gone to buy tickets with her daughter Prachika, had an equally annoying experience.”The people at the counters can’t tell you the Games schedules. You can’t either get through the call centre line or it gets disconnected before you finish talking. I had to call up 50 times before I could get the information I wanted,” she said.B. Subramaniam, a part of the Malaysian Boxing Federation, had a suggestion. He said: “It makes sense to have separate stalls for more popular events like boxing and swimming.” At the Talkatora Stadium, Philip Masonda, an official attached with the Zambian squash team, had a worse experience.He had gone to the stadium to watch some of the aquatics events. He was not allowed to enter because his pass limited entry only to the squash events. Moreover, the volunteers failed to arrange a transport for him back to the Games Village until a journalist intervened and sought the help of the authorities.A Rajouri garden couple also experienced the volunteers’ apathy at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex on Wednesday.Deepak Bassi, who had an accident some time ago that left his leg severely damaged, went to the complex to watch some events. But he and his wife were made to walk a 3-km stretch from the parking lot, with no help from the volunteers.However, all he commented was that “we have channels through which we can route our complaints in the Village. And I would prefer those channels”.(With inputs from Amandeep Shukla and Agencies)last_img

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