Lights out at SBNS
Lady luck has not been smiling on the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) lately. If coping with the fixing allegations and the inconsistency surrounding the Dhaka Premier League were not enough, the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium (SBNS) experienced a seven-hour power cut yesterday, temporarily jolting the richest sporting board of the country.
Electricity was cut off at noon and returned only in the evening following drastic measures taken by board officials. It was learnt that the reason behind the cut-off was the board's pending dues worth Tk 1.09 crore.
“The main problem is that there's only one electric metre which tracks the power usage of the stadium, the National Cricket Academy, the 86 shops within it and the sports village,” said Colonel AKM Zaki, venue administrator of the SBNS.
“The BCB isn't willing to pay the total due as it includes the bills of the shops as well,” he added.
The problem, the official claimed, has been going on for a while and a host of letters were exchanged between the National Sports Council (NSC), under whose name the bill is made, and the BCB.
“In order to resolve the problem we have asked the NSC to make provisions for separate electric meters a number of times,” said Zaki. “Currently the NSC collects the bills from the shops, as per the sub-meters present there, which NSC is supposed to pay us,” he added. However, the BCB in its letter to the NSC stated that the board was not too keen on the way the dues were collected from the shops.
In June 2012, the NSC sent a letter to the BCB stating that the process of creating separate electric meters had begun. Having received that letter the BCB paid Tk 20 lakh to the Dhaka Electric Supply Company (DESCO) and cleared its dues up till that time. The BCB then sent a letter to the NSC asking it for the bills of the shops. In reply, the NSC stated that the council had done some repair works at the Fatullah and Bangabandhu stadiums and that according to the NSC's calculations the BCB owed it approximately Tk 17 lakh.
The problem was temporarily solved at 6:45 pm yesterday and the lights at the stadium glowed yet again, after the venue administrator submitted a letter of undertaking to DESCO.