Even as the Chandigarh Administration and Golf Club continue to lock horns over the lease amount being charged,the UT Administrator has stepped in to suggest that sports facilities of the club should be made available to the common man.
Shivraj Patil,the UT Administrator-cum-Punjab Governor,has suggested a host of suggestions to the office- bearers of Golf Club and also the mediator,Justice (retd) Kuldip Singh,in separate meetings held between them recently.
The administrator has suggested that more people should be allowed to avail the facilities at subsidised rates. The club should not remain confined to the rich and elite; it should be made accessible to the common class to pursue their sports interests. Also,budding sportspersons should be encouraged by offering the facilities at even cheaper rates than prevalent.
During the meeting,Patil also discussed the sport and its inclusion in 2016 Rio Olympic games. He said a via media needed to be evolved in order to end the deadlock between the administration and the Golf Club.
At his separate meeting with Justice (retd) Kuldip Singh,the administrator has given a list of suggestions which the mediator will be putting forth to the Golf Club. We clarified certain misconceptions about the club. We told the administrator that the club is not involved in commercial activities but is engaged in providing sporting facilities. We also apprised him that the club is already offering best possible facilities to non-members at very low rates. The suggestions given will be considered to reach a common solution, said Bobby Sandhu,Captain,Golf Club.
The administrator also suggested that more non-members be facilitated. At present,the club has over 3,000 members.
In his suggestions,the administrator has also echoed the concern raised by the Punjab and Haryana High Court last week. The case is pending adjudication in the High Court.
The High Court has repeatedly told the club that the common mans interest shall be taken care of.
Refusing to show leniency,the High Court,on the last date of hearing,had observed that the rich must pay if they have defaulted. The development had taken place during the resumed hearing of a petition filed by the club demanding setting aside the orders of the UT Administration,dated November 15 and 16,2012,wherein the club was asked to deposit rent to the tune of Rs 9,27,48,000 within two months.
The petitioner club had informed the bench that as per the two letters issued on November 15 and 16,2012,the lease period of the club had been proposed to be five years,rent of the building proposed as Rs 1,61,28,000 per year and the rent for green area was fixed as Rs 10,000 per acre for 130.6 acres of open land.
The court was also informed,on a previous date of hearing,that the UT Administration had also proposed a 7 per cent hike in the rent. The club had also contended that it had written a latter dated December 12,2012 to the Estate Office,UT Administration,with regard to said letters as the letters were issued without any discussion with the petitioner society and without granting any opportunity of hearing to the petitioner.
The club had sought quashing of said letters as it termed them illegal and arbitrary. The petitioner had also sought directions to the administration to reconsider the matter and extend the lease of the petitioner in term of draft lease proposed vide letter dated December 2,2009 or on similar terms to that of Delhi Golf Club.