Penny wise, Pound foolish

As if once wasn’t enough, it happened the second time too! A gallery crashing down twice in a five-day championship is just not pardonable — not even in a prolonged event.

The organisers, the J. P. Nagar Sports Club, and the state association, the Karnataka Volleyball Association (KVA), did not pay heed when the western gallery came crashing down on the second day of the 15th South Zone Senior National Volleyball Championship at the Durga Parmeshwari ground in Bangalore. Overcrowding and dancing in the stands was the excuse given for the mishap, but fortunately nobody suffered any injury.

The organisers, however, didn’t seem to have learnt their lessons after this, for on the final day of the tournament the northern gallery collapsed. And this time, quite a few people were injured and a youth had fractured both his thighs.

The final league game between Karnataka and Kerala was delayed for over half an hour, but commenced with gusto. “Two days of heavy rains probably had softened the wood,” claimed the organisers. This was all the more reason to ensure safety which the organisers did not pay heed to.

Volleyball and kabaddi attract huge crowds in the districts and even the suburbs of the city. Invariably the crowd spills onto the courtside, causing a lot of discomfort to the players and the press. But despite warnings and suggestions, the organisers have looked the other way.

In order to save on the construction of a ‘reliable’ gallery, the organisers opt for cheap structures. They don’t realise that, in the end, they would be paying a lot more in case of a tragedy.