The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) on Saturday abruptly shifted the COVID-19 Care Centre slated to come up at Kanteerava Indoor Stadium to Koramangala Indoor Stadium at National Games Village (NGV). Hundreds of cots were being readied at the indoor stadium at Kanteerava in the morning, but were shifted to Koramangala by evening.

BBMP Commissioner B.H. Anil Kumar said the civic body received a request from a Member of Legislative Council to shift the centre from Kanteerava Indoor Stadium, at least for the time being. “We got a request to shift it as the indoor stadium is needed for a sports-related event. We are in phase-1 of the creating COVID-19 Care Centres, and NGV was always in the Government’s list. We will set up a care centre at Kanteerava Indoor Stadium in the future,” Mr. Kumar said.

When contacted, K. Govindaraj., MLC and President of Karnataka Olympic Association, said he only requested the BBMP to keep the indoor stadium at Kanteerava as a last priority in case of extreme emergency. “There are logistical problems, including toilet facilities, in converting the indoor stadium into a COVID-19 Care Centre right away,” he said.

The sports hostel is currently functioning as an institutional quarantine centre. Mr. Govindaraj also said a few sports coaching related activities would resume at the indoor stadium and that they were waiting for nod from the Union government.

Another senior BBMP official told The Hindu that they encountered a few logistical problems Kanteerava. “The NGV is a better option for time being. The COVID-19 Care Centres at Haj Bhavan and Sri Sri Ravishankar Ashram are functional and we will set up more centres before the existing ones are full,” said the official.

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