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Kolkata police to probe power failure during fourth ODI

December 25, 2009 17:59 IST

The Kolkata police on Friday met the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) officials to inquire into the Eden Gardens power failure that disrupted the India-Sri Lanka day-night fifth One-Day International for about 25 minutes on Thursday.

The meeting was attended by officials from private power utility CESC, state PWD and Joint Commissioner of Police Debashish Roy who would submit his report in three days.

Commissioner of Police Gautam Mohan Chakraborty said they would not allow any day-night match at Eden Gardens unless the fault is corrected.

"PWD and sports department are looking into the fiasco. I will speak to the commissioner of police tomorrow [Saturday]," state's Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen said.

Embarrassed over the power failure in one of the floodlit towers at the Eden Gardens during the fourth ODI between India and Sri Lanka last night, the CAB has also constituted a seven-member panel to inquire into the incident.

The seven-member committee has Commissioner of Police Gautam Mohan Chakrabarti, Joint Commissioner (HQ) Javed Shamim, and five persons from the CAB -- Chitrak Mitra, Sadhan Mukherjee, Dilip Sen, S Biswas and P K Mullick -- as its members.

The panel will look into the blackout incident which plunged the stadium into near darkness after floodlights at the High Court end went off for nearly 26 minutes last night with just four balls remaining in the Sri Lankan innings.

With such malfunctioning becoming a common feature at the Eden Gardens in the last couple of years, CAB president Jagmohan Dalmiya said they would go deep into the matter.

"It is a worry. We have not been able to identify the problem but we will go deep into it. Since 1993, the ODI matches are being held under lights but in the last couple of years only we have been hit by technical snags," Dalmiya said.

The power went out for nearly 25 minutes at the Eden Gardens on April 20 last year during the Indian Premier League (IPL) match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Deccan Chargers.

Asked if it could be a sabotage, Dalmiya said, "It is not possible to comment on this before getting a detailed report."

Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee rushed to the ground after hearing about the blackout. But by the time she reached the stadium, the lights started to work.

Meanwhile, a blame-game similar to what happened after the fiasco during the IPL last year has already started.

The CESC Ltd. has washed off its hands from the incident, blaming the CAB for lack of maintenance.

"This is not because of CESC's fault. The supply was regular all through and had there been a fluctuation, other towers would have been affected. We have laid out three new dedicated cables from its distribution station and each line is capable of lighting up the entire stadium," a CESC official said.

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