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‘Mad rush’ for marriages hits sports

G. Nagaraja
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DSDO’s decision to lease its playgrounds triggers protest among players

Grand setting:The Alluri Sitarama Raju Stadium in Eluru playing host to a high-profile marriage.— Photo: A.V.G Prasad
Grand setting:The Alluri Sitarama Raju Stadium in Eluru playing host to a high-profile marriage.— Photo: A.V.G Prasad

The sports lovers seem feeling the heat of the ‘mad rush’ for marriages in the current ‘Maghamasam’. The decision of the District Sports Development Office (DSDO) to lease out its playgrounds in the city for marriages triggered protest among the players. A group of players staged a novel protest in the city on Wednesday by using the main road leading to the main railway station for practising sports against the allotment of the Alluri Sitarama Raju (ASR) Stadium and the Indoor Stadium for marriages. The protesters submitted a representation to B. Srinivasa Rao, DSDO, seeking to scrap the government order allowing private functions on the playgrounds for lease. The sprawling ground is used by a large number of players practising hockey, football, athletics, basketball, handball and volleyball. Besides, the ground is abuzz with over 1,000 morning walkers strolling around it.

When all the marriage halls available in the city were booked three months before the marriage dates, the playgrounds and all the open places were literally up for grabs on February 13 and 14. The DSDO authorities are charging Rs. 50,000 for using their playgrounds for each marriage function. The availability of a very few ‘muhurthams’ during the auspicious Maghamasam and the onset of ‘Mudham’, considered inauspicious, in the second half of February itself and lasts till May 1 are cited as the reasons for the great rush for marriages.

N.V.S. Raju, secretary of the West Godavari District Hockey Association, told The Hindu that the players and the walkers were put to hardship in view of the allotment of both the stadiums for marriages. They are all reportedly forced to use the canal bunds and the main roads for jogging and practising sports. The marriage parties will take over the ground for four days for each function for arrangements and dismantling the pandals and the stage. In the process, the ground gets punctured with pits and nails strewn all over, making it quite unsafe for the players to move around, Mr. Raju regretted.

B. Srinivasa Rao, DSDO, defended that the allotment of playgrounds was made as per the government order only to generate some income for maintenance of the grounds and the swimming pool. The leasing of the grounds became inevitable for ‘self-sustenance’ in the face of suspension of grants from the government for the last few years, he added.


  • All the marriage halls in the city were booked three months before the marriage dates

  • The DSDO authorities are charging Rs. 50,000 for using their playgrounds



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