New Delhi: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal directed all state-run sports facilities in the city to stay open for athletes until 10 p.m., hours after Indian Express’s exclusive report that a prominent Delhi stadium was being closed for sports activities earlier than usual so that an IAS officer could walk his dog at the facility.
Athletes and coaches at the Delhi government-run Thyagraj Stadium have been complaining for months about having to finish training earlier than usual – by 7 p.m. – because Delhi’s Principal Secretary (Revenue) Sanjeev Khirwar walks his dog at the facility about 30 minutes later, according to the Indian Express.
“We used to train till 8-8.30 pm under lights earlier. But now, we are asked to leave the ground by 7 pm so that the officer can walk his dog on the ground. Our training and practice routine has been disrupted,” the newspaper quoted a coach.
Tagging the report, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said in a tweet: “News reports have brought to our notice that certain sports facilities are being closed early causing inconvenience to sportsmen who wish to play till late nite. CM @ArvindKejriwal has directed that all Delhi Govt sports facilities stay open for sportsmen till 10 pm.”
Union minister Kaushal Kishore called it a misuse of authority and demanded an apology from the officer.
“It’s shameful that sportspersons have to empty the stadium (Delhi’s Thyagraj Stadium Complex) premises because an IAS officer wants to walk with his dog. The officer should apologise. This is a misuse of his authority,” he told news agency ANI.