Chennai: A former DMK MLA has filed a plea in Madras High Court seeking restoration of football ground in a stadium in Cuddalore virtually rendered “useless” after expansion of a helipad for facilitating the landing of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s chopper during electioneering for Lok Sabha elections in April last.

Petitioner Ela Pugazhendi also submitted that he was informed in response to an RTI query that no government order was passed for the expansion of the helipad.

It was not known how the helipad was allowed to have been expanded on the football ground and at whose cost, he said.

When the matter came up for hearing today, the court directed the Additional Government Pleader and the Standing Counsel for Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu and the District Sports and Youth Welfare Officer, Anna Stadium,  Cuddalore, to get instructions on the status of the stadium and on the question as to who bore the expenses for the expansion of helipad.

Justice V Ramasubramanyam in his order issued notice to Vihajakumar, Additional Government Pleader, who appeared for the state Government and other authorities, and the Standing Counsel I Sathish for the Sports Development Authority and posted it for further hearing on September 1.

Petitioner submitted that the surface (cement base) of the helipad was extended from 29.80 sq meters to 45 sq meters for the purpose of landing of the helicopter used by Jayalalithaa, also the General Secretary of AIADMK for campaign purpose.

He alleged that because of the expansion the play ground had been virtually useless now.

In response to his RTI query, on May 3 the Public Information Officer of the District Collector’s Office, Cuddalore that no order for extension was passed by the Government.

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