Telangana Sports Minister Goud- The New Indian Express

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Soon after the disturbing stampede at the Gymkhana Cricket Ground on Thursday Sports and Tourism Minister V Srinivas Goud held a review meeting with government officials and Hyderabad Cricket Association members on Thursday at Ravindra Bharati.

The Minister’s annoyance with the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) was evident when he said: “If the HCA had coordinated with us as per government norms, we would have handled the situation more efficiently. Telangana officials are willing to work restlessly to arrange all kinds of facilities ensuring the safety of the people.”

He went on to elaborate that the State government had discussed arrangements of the upcoming match with officials in Revenue, GHMC, Water Board, Police Department and others. “This is the first match that is being held in Hyderabad post-Covid. Because of the growing interest in sports among youth, we secured second position in the Commonwealth Games,” Srinivas Goud said.

He added: “Because of the enthusiasm to witness the match live, lakhs of people thronged the ticket counters. Because of court issues, the HCA is functioning with only two-three members and conducting such a grand event with limited manpower is indeed a big task to handle. The government will also extend its support for the smooth running of the event.”

Talking about the stampede, the Minister explained: “Although there are only around 30,000 tickets available, lakhs of youngsters from our state and other states gathered at the counters. Even online, within an hour all the tickets were booked. As the HCA opened the tickets quite late and that too in offline mode, it led to the stampede.”

Srinivas Goud said it was unfortunate that seven persons were injured in the stampede for the tickets. “The charges for the treatment for the injured will be covered by the HCA and the government,” he assured.

Allegations against HCA

With regard to allegations about an unfolding financial scam in the HCA, the Minister said: “The HCA should provide a comprehensive account of the online and offline tickets booked until now with their signature. A detailed inquiry is necessary. If anyone is found guilty, strict action will be taken against them.”

He advised people to go to the stadium only if they had tickets. “Others who do not have tickets should refrain from going to the stadium in anticipation of buying some tickets in black and avoid unnecessary hassles.”

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