India and Australia are poised for the fourth T20I clash at Raipur's Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh Stadium on Friday. However, with just hours remaining before a potential series decider, reports from Indian media indicate that parts of the stadium are facing a power outage due to an unpaid bill of INR3.16 crore dating back to 2009.
A temporary connection has been installed at the request of the Chhattisgarh State Cricket Association (CSCA), but it only covers the spectators' gallery and boxes, leaving the entire ground without power. For the match tonight, floodlights will be powered by a generator, reported NDTV.
Ashok Khandelwal, the Raipur Rural Circle in-charge, confirmed that the CSCA Secretary has applied to increase the temporary connection's capacity from 200KV to 1000KV, but work on this upgrade has yet to commence.
The issue of the unpaid bill first surfaced in 2018 when athletes participating in a half-marathon at the stadium realised it had no electricity. Subsequently, it was revealed that the bill hadn't been paid since 2009 and had accumulated to INR3.16 crore.
Since the power cut in 2018, only three international matches have been played at the stadium, and the upcoming encounter will be the fourth.
"As far as the stadium lights are concerned, I don't know how much the outstanding bill is, but a temporary connection has been taken in the name of CSCS," said Tarunesh Singh Parihar, the media coordinator of CSCA.
It is worth noting that India currently lead the five-match T20I series 2-1, with Suryakumar Yadav's team aiming to secure victory in Friday's match. Although India had the opportunity to clinch the series in the third T20I, Glenn Maxwell's brilliance and resilience denied them victory.