Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has ordered that all sports facilities in the state will remain open till 10 pm for athletes who want to train till late at night.
This order comes after The Indian Express reported that a stadium in the capital was being emptied, and athletes told to leave by 7 pm so that an IAS officer could walk his dog.
The athletes and coaches training at Delhi’s government-run Thyagraj Stadium had been complaining over the past few months that they were forced to empty the stadium and wrap up their routine by 7 pm, so that Delhi’s Principal Secretary (Revenue) Sanjeev Khirwar could walk his dog at the ground later.
In an article published by The Indian Express, one of the athlete training at the stadium said, “We used to train till 8-8.30pm under lights earlier. But now we are asked to leave the ground by 7pm so that the officer can walk his dog on the ground.”
The stadium was built for the 2010 Commonwealth Games and is centrally located sporting complex for multidiscipline facility, which is used by national and state-level athletes and footballers.
Soon after the newspaper published the report, and a picture of the IAS officer along with his dog at the stadium, Delhi CM Kejriwal issued a notice for all the stadiums to remain open for athletes’ training till late night.
"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 (sic). CM @ArvindKejriwal has directed that all Delhi Govt sports facilities to stay open for sportsmen till 10 pm", said Deputy CM Manish Sisodia in a tweet.