Gopichand breathes easy as high court stays government order

September 22nd, 2008 - 10:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Sep 22 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh high court Monday stayed the state government’s order taking back three out of five acres of land allotted to badminton ace Pullela Gopichand for setting up an international badminton academy.Aggrieved by the state government’s move, the 2001 All England badminton champion had approached the court, which granted the stay on the order issued last week.

The prime land in Gacchibowli area here was given on lease in 2003 by the then Telugu Desam Party government but the Congress government last week issued an order taking back three acres of land on the ground that it was not utilised by him. The government said it would use the land to start a sports college of its own to train players for the London Olympics of 2012.

Gopichand Saturday called on Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, urging him to review the order as he planned to use the entire piece of land for developing the academy. He had claimed that the chief minister responded positively.

The main building of the academy with eight courts is already operational and Saina Nehwal, who is creating waves in international badminton circuit, and other national players are undergoing training here.

When completed, the academy is expected to become the fifth best in the world to be run under the guidance of Badminton World Federation (BWF) and the best in Asia.

Gopichand said his dream project was yet to be completed. He clarified that cross training in other sports and swimming were integral part of coaching and denied that he was building a tennis court. His clarification came as government officials justified their action on the ground that that he was planning to build a play area for children, a tennis court and a swimming pool, which were not central to the academy.

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