Last-minute revocation of lock-and-seal order breathes life into MAC stadium

Two hours before spectators were allowed into M.A. Chidambaram Stadium on Tuesday, the premises seemed depressingly empty.

The few conservancy workers, policemen, private security personnel and salespersons present at the stadium seemed listless.

Much earlier, by noon, a large number of mediapersons had thronged I, J and K stands of the stadium after news of the Supreme Court order had done the rounds.

Finally, at 3.10 p.m., a team of Chennai Corporation’s employees led by Teynampet zonal officer Vijayakumar reached the premises and removed the seal within minutes.

Within seconds of cancellation of the lock-and-seal, a large group of conservancy workers got down to work.

Workers were seen hurrying with cartons to replenish the food stalls that had remained idle for 10 days.

The police and security personnel huddled together to strategise for a long day.

“After the Chennai Corporation removed the seals around 3 p.m., we had just two hours to clean the premises and put things in order. Spectators were allowed entry from 5 p.m. onwards. It was a challenging task,” said a supervisor in charge of conservancy work in the stadium.

As the Corporation officials left the premises, groups of vendors outside the stadium bustled with enthusiasm. Sheikh Sultan, a college student, was one among the many vendors selling soft drinks.

“I feel relieved. I will now be able to go home with Rs. 300 — my daily wages for selling the soft drinks to stadium visitors. We would have been disappointed if the match had been cancelled,” said Sultan.

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