Updated: December 13, 2021 9:36:58 pm
Following a lukewarm response from tennis lovers for utilising the synthetic courts on an individual membership basis, the Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) is all set to lease out six of the eight courts located in Race Course Sports Complex to private academies at an annual rent of Rs 14.5 lakh. The move comes after a prominent school, which had taken these courts on a lease, surrendered them citing the Covid-19 pandemic.
The sports department of RMC has forwarded a proposal to the standing committee of the civic body seeking approval for leasing three courts each to Varshan Rangani of Alia Tennis Academy and Kishan Harnesha of AR Tennis Academy. The department had floated tenders for these six tennis courts in June this year. A total of five parties had submitted tenders of which Rangani’s rent offer of Rs 8.25 lakh per annum emerged as the highest bid for the three tennis courts in Block-1.
Similarly, Harnesha’s offer of Rs 6.25 lakh emerged as the highest rent offer for the other three tennis courts in Block-2.
According to the proposal, a total of three parties evinced interest in taking the courts of Block-1 on lease while only two parties submitted tenders for those of Block-2. These courts, which are hardcourts made of synthetic material, are located near the synthetic athletics track behind the indoor stadium in the Race Course Sports Complex and the civic body proposes to lease them for three years.
The standing committee is likely to take a call on the proposal at its meeting scheduled Tuesday.
The move by the sports department of RMC comes after SN Kansagra (SNK) School, a prominent private school in the city, surrendered these courts midway through a three-year lease agreement and a muted response from tennis lovers in using these courts on a membership basis. “These courts were inaugurated in 2016 and we kept them available to tennis lovers on a monthly and an annual membership basis. But we got a lame response from tennis lovers and therefore, we leased them to SNK in March 2019, on an annual rent of Rs 25 lakh. However, SNK surrendered them in June 2020, citing difficulties arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore, we opened these courts for utilisation on an individual membership basis again but got a tepid response. Therefore, we have again proposed to lease them out to private parties,” said Deepen Dodiya, an assistant manager at the sports department who is posted as an officer on special duty (OSD) at Race Course Sports Complex.
He said the cumulative annual rent of Rs 14.5 lakh is lower than what the private school was offering. “However, it seems par for the course, if we consider the overall response from tennis lovers. Our two tennis courts, in front of the indoor stadium, that are open to individual members have only around 50 members and its utilisation is also not optimum,” said the OSD.
Dodiya said the private parties will not be allowed to charge a coaching fee of more than Rs 2,000 per month for children below 12 years of age and Rs 3,000 for those above 12 years. “However, our two courts in front of the indoor stadium remain open to individual memberships at the rate of Rs 3,000 per quarter and Rs 11,000 per annum for access to the court for one hour daily,” he added.
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