Pradeep Pattanayak

Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar plunged into darkness for around 15 minutes yesterday when a match of Indian Super League (ISL) between Odisha FC and Chennaiyian FC was in progress on the ground, leaving the sportslovers a dejected lot. 

At a time the state government is claiming that it is spending crores of rupees to improve infrastructure, the blackout has proved the tall claims of the government hollow.

Reportedly, the flood light facility at the stadium was installed at a cost of Rs 5.39 crore. The lights’ sudden going off has raised questions including whether the lights were inspected before the commencement of the match? What is the cause of flood lights having gone off suddenly? Are the lights not being maintained at regular intervals?  

Yesterday’s incident was not the first time when the stadium plunged into darkness. Earlier, blackouts were witnessed during an ISL match and a Hockey India League match. Frequent blackouts during matches have not gone down well with sports lovers. 

In the coming days, Hockey World Cup will be organised. Foreign players and sports lovers will visit the state. The repeat of such incidents will bring disgrace to the state. 

Notably, one tower of the floodlights facility went off 88 minutes into the match between Odisha FC and Chennaiyian FC. Within 3 to 4 minutes, power to the rest of towers went off, abruptly discontinuing the match for 15 minutes. The match resumed after the snafu was fixed.

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