December 6, 2008

Punjab que sera, sera

Jamie Alter

A proposed stadium in Bhatinda, one of the oldest cities in Punjab, has apparently hit a roadblock. Work on what is supposed to be a top-notch cricket venue was supposed to begin on December 8 of last year, the same day as the Punjab chief minister's birthday, but nothing has happened in the last 12 months. According to Bathinda Development Authority (BDA) administrator Kamal Kishore Yadav, the 25-acre project cost was estimated between Rs 80-100 crore and was backed by the likes of Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) president IS Bindra. But apart from barbed wire to cordon off the land, not a brick has been laid.

The project has reportedly been tossed back and forth between the PCA, BDA and Punjab Sports Department, reports the Indian Express, and is now with the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB) for execution.

“We have almost finalised the terms and conditions and the bidding process would be started soon,” said PIDB managing director Sukhbir Singh Sandhu, who could not give any time frame.

Bhatinda may be proud host to Asia's biggest railway junction, but as for a cricket stadium ... well, let's just say that one's just not been able to get off the tracks.

Jamie Alter is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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