THE PUNE district administration has tightened its hold on renewal of lease agreement of Poona Club by laying down a set of clauses for agreement as well as checking whether there is any violation of the lease rules.
Last month, the administration had levied Rs 3.09 crore fine, which the club coughed up “under protest”. The fine was for violation of lease rules. The proposed lease renewal for a 30 year period is yet to be finalised.
Founded in 1927, the Poona Club has establishments in both Yerawada and Bund Garden Road. Both plots of land belong to the state government and they have been getting a 30 years lease extension.
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The lease term finished in 1983 and it was further extended till 2013 and recently, the government extended the term till 2037 provided they pay up the penalty and fine that was levied in this period. However, even as they have paid up the fine, the administration wants to execute caution while renewing the lease.
Earlier the matter came to light when the administration found that the prime government land was being used for commercial purpose with the Club operating a restaurant and bar and having shops within the campus, a beer shop and the space being used for hosting private weddings.
Resident Deputy Collector Rajendra Muthe on Saturday said that a draft of the lease agreement has been handed over to the club authorities. “We will be doing a thorough inspection to find out any violations. Though they have paid the fine amount, we are going to be strict about any other operations which violate the lease rules,” said Muthe. The amount levied was because of violation of lease rules where it was found that prime government land was being used for commercial purpose. “All such operations should be stopped and we will check before renewal of lease as per government’s orders,” added Muthe.
Regarding the renewal of lease agreement, Poona Club chairman Swastik Sirsikar said it was getting finalised.
“We have got a draft and there are some terms and conditions and we should be seeing it through in a week’s time,” he said. He further said that all the rules will be adhered to. While the lease agreement is yet to be finalised, the general meeting to be held on March 29 has called for e-voting with members expressing their dissatisfaction over a point raised by the Board suggesting a Development Plan approval of renovation of the club to the tune of Rs 70 crore.
Sirsikar, however, defends it by stating that it is an “internal mail” and it is only a proposal and there are no immediate plans to do anything as such.