Beep! 82 turnstiles to enter Eden

What are the turnstiles like?

Like the turnstiles at the Metro stations before the flap gates replaced them a couple of years ago.

How will you enter Eden from now on?

One at a time, by placing your ticket in the scanner on the turnstile with the barcode facing upward. The message "Welcome to Eden Gardens" will flash on the turnstile screen along with match details to let you know that you have been granted entry.

How many turnstiles have been installed?

Eighty-two. Several stadiums in India ' including those in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and even the new one in Ranchi ' already have turnstiles, but none of them has as many as Eden.

Where have the turnstiles been installed?

At all the 15 gates leading to the 10 Eden blocks. The number of turnstiles at each Eden gate varies according to the capacity of the block it leads to. For example, gate 12, which leads to blocks H and H1 with 6,791 seats, has nine turnstiles, but gate 16, leading to Block L with 2,224 seats, has only three. The two gates leading to the Club House do not have turnstiles.

Why not at the Club House gates?

Because officials belonging to various organisations associated with the IPL, carrying accreditation cards instead of tickets with barcode, will use these gates. But Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) treasurer Biswarup Dey said turnstiles would be installed at the Club House gates before IPL 2014.

How then will the exact number of spectators be counted now?

The turnstiles would provide data for the 63,234 seats other than the 4,000-odd in the Club House. CAB employees will manually count the spectators in the two Club House tiers and add this to the number thrown up by the turnstiles to calculate the total figure.

If someone leaves the stadium during a match and re-enters, will it show as two in the crowd count?

No one can leave and re-enter the ground during an IPL match. That provision will be there for ODI and Tests. Since the scanners will record the unique barcode on each ticket, there is no possibility of an inflated crowd count.

Will the turnstiles slow down entry into Eden?

The CAB claims each turnstile entry will take three seconds. After an inspection, the police feel it will take about five seconds. At the police rate, 59,040 fans will be able to enter the ground in an hour if all the 82 turnstiles work flawlessly. With Eden's capacity a shade over 67,000, expect queues if it's a full house.

What if the turnstiles develop a glitch?

The tickets will have to be scanned manually.

Will you have to leave the ground through the turnstile as well?

The arms of the turnstiles can be made to collapse at the touch of a button. Once a match ends, officials will deactivate the turnstiles so that people can leave immediately. Those leaving midway will, however, have to do so through a turnstile. Not all the turnstiles will allow exit. For example, only four of the nine turnstiles at Gate 12 will allow both entry and exit.

Who has manufactured the turnstiles?

Skidata, an Austrian company that has its Indian headquarters at Mumbai. It has a contract with the BCCI to install turnstiles at all the international venues.

Text: Rith Basu and Sushovan Sircar


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