KSHA fumes as stadium is renamed by DYES

The startling revelation came during a routine function to inaugurate the newly-laid hockey turf at the stadium here on Thursday. Until a few years ago, the stadium was known as ‘KSHA Stadium’.

The newly laid hockey turf at Hockey Stadium was inaugurated at Bengaluru on 20 April 2017.   -  Sudhakara Jain

Anupam Agarwal, Director, Department of Youth Empowerment and Sports (DYES), caused a stir when he announced that the hockey stadium at Shanthinagar had been renamed to Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa Kreedangana.

The startling revelation came during a routine function to inaugurate the newly-laid hockey turf at the stadium here on Thursday. Until a few years ago, the stadium was known as ‘KSHA Stadium’. When Hockey Karnataka came to power and replaced Karnataka State Hockey Association (KSHA) as the official governing body, the former referred to it as ‘Akkithimanahali Hockey Stadium’. KSHA has been rechristened Hockey Bengaluru, and is an affiliated unit of Hockey India. A peeved K. Krishnamurthy, Hon. Secretary, Hockey Bengaluru, criticised the move.

“Field Marshal K. M. Cariappa is a childhood hero for all of us, so the name is not a concern at all. However, DYES has followed improper procedure. The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is the lessor, and KSHA is the lessee. This decision has been made without taking KSHA into confidence. DYES informed us of their decision just an hour before the announcement was made. You cannot just put up a flex board and say that a stadium has a new name,” he said.

Krishnamurthy added, “The KSHA is a major stakeholder here. In 1977, we received a 99-year lease from BBMP. We have been paying our property taxes regularly to this day. DYES - which acts as a facilitator - has not taken approval from BBMP either. Agarwal has given us a raw deal on several occasions in the past too. Has he fallen into the clutches of someone powerful? He refuses to show basic courtesy.”

Krishnamurthy mentioned that his association was not consulted on the matter of relaying the turf either. “We have been sidelined for too long now. Our patron N.A. Haris (Shanthinagar MLA) will take up this matter with the Chief Minister and State Sports Minister soon,” he said.

Agarwal, however, defended the move. “Hockey Karnataka suggested that we change the name to Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa Stadium. We then got the proposal approved by State Sports Minister, Pramod Madhwaraj. If KSHA has a problem, then let them send a petition to us. As far as I am concerned, KSHA is not a legal body.”