Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Inside Olympic Park - even water would not be allowed


I had earlier posted on the inconveniences caused to spectators at Chepauk stadium, especially for IPL.  Everything is banned – people are not allowed to carry water bottles even and literally have to buy things at astronomical prices fixed arbitrarily that too – not so qualitative products.  You talk of democracy and human rights – inside, it is the rule of few – they are not policemen, no custodians of law but self-appointed security who behave as though they are ‘black-cats in charge of the top most person of the country’ and once they say ‘not allowed’ – no further talks. The other day, CSK coloured ‘whistles’ smaller ones were being handed free to fans after entry and a few steps away another group doing body-frisking announced that ‘whistles were not allowed’ – the popular theme promoted for Chennai Super Kings is ‘whistle podu – whistle for your team’ and the promo song is ‘namma chennaikku periya whistle adinga’.  Thus those forfeited contraband whistles were gathering a mound.  Both the groups did not spot – those distributing ‘whistles’ or those ‘seizing them’.  

We have the legacy of British written large –  the game of Cricket itself is one.  Here is a newsitem that appeared in Daily Mail that  Spectators will be banned from taking bottles of water into the Olympic Park in case they are used to conceal so-called ‘liquid bombs’.

The report mentions that at Olympic parks during the Games, Airport-style security meaning all liquids in containers of 100ml or more  getting confiscated would in force – leaving visitors to buy drinks at inflated prices once inside.  It is stated that Picnics and ‘excessive’ amounts of food will also be banned from sports venues, but families will have to pay £40 to buy a basic lunch from the official food stalls.

It has started much prior to Olumpics at the series of test events  that took place at the Olympic Park in Stratford last week ahead of the London 2012 Games.  Here  many visitors were disgruntled to find that bottles of water, alcohol, hampers, picnics and cool boxes were not permitted inside the gates.  In what appears to be an exaggerated show of security and in trying to prevent  smuggled bombs, poison drones and all other weapons, the visitors would not be allowed to carry anything – instead  they must pay £1.60 for replacement water, which organisers claim is a ‘reduced rate’.  The report further mentions that it  could also cost £2.80 for a soft drink, £4.90 for a sandwich and £5.90 for a frankfurter hot dog – meaning a simple lunch could cost £10 each. Strict rules state people cannot take in ‘liquids, aerosols and gels in quantities greater than 100ml’, but empty water bottles can be taken in and filled up at water coolers.

Whilst taking a sandwich in a backpack, for example, should not be a problem, a picnic hamper or cool box was ‘likely to be an issue’.  This, they state, was to prevent longer queues at venues while hampers were searched and because there was limited storage space beneath the seats. Critics claimed it was only a ploy to encourage people to buy over-priced food.   So far at both Lord’s and Wimbledon food is permitted and alcohol is restricted to one bottle of wine or two cans of beer per person. Further, if  ticket holders want to buy food at the Olympic Park they will have to use cash or a Visa card. No other credit cards are allowed.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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