Decks cleared for Delhi to host World T20 semifinal

The match had been thrown into jeopardy over lack of completion certificate for R.P. Mehra block. DDCA had been given an extended deadline till 2pm today to furnish the clearance, which came after a meeting of its officials with Justice (Retd) Mukul Mudgal, the Supreme Court-appointed observer for the cricket association.

DDCA has got the clearance to use the R.P. Mehra block at Feroz Shah Kotla stadium in New Delhi.

After weeks of uncertainty over the Capital hosting one of the World T20 semifinal, on March 30, the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) finally got the clearance it needed to host the match.

On Wednesday, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) allowed the DDCA use the entire block of the disputed R. P. Mehra Block for the match. It may be recalled the International Cricket Committee was not keen to go ahead with the match in Delhi if the R P. Mehra Block was not utilized in full.

“Now that the decks are clear, the DDCA can not only accommodate the ICC’s demands for 357 seats but also put on sale 2100 seats available in this Block,” said Chetan Chauhan, the acting president of DDCA.

The letter from the SDMC states, “the Completion Certificate in respect of the building constructed on Feroz Shah Kotla ground has been given except for the above referred block (R. P. Mehra Block) being unauthorized. The completion certificate was not given in respect of the said unauthorized portion as it is beyond the sanction plan.

“It is, however, also an admitted fact that the said unauthorized structure was constructed prior to 2006. As per the National Capital Territory of Delhi laws (Special Provisions) Act 2007 and amended in 2014 and 2011, the said structure falls under the protection till 31-12-2017. The said Act allows maintaining status quo in respect of such unauthorized constructions.”

Armed with the latest clearance from the SDMC, Mr. Chauhan stressed that all matches, including the allotted Indian Premier League, could now be held at the venue till the end of 2017.

Interestingly, the SDMC made another observation: “Prima-facie, it appears that the R.P. Mehra Block is covered under the protection of the said Act. However, the department is seeking clarification from the Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India. Till such time, no coercive action can be taken by the SDMC and the R. P. Mehra Block can be put to use.”

Justice Mukul Mudgal, the High Court-appointed supervisor for the conduct of the World T20 matches at the Feroz Shah Kotla considered the letter of the SDMC, presented by the DDCA, and concluded, “The R.P. Mehra Block may be put to use by DDCA at its own risk and peril.”