Bombay Hockey Association seeks lease extension

April 23rd, 2008 - 9:02 pm ICT by admin  

Mumbai 23 April (IANS) The Bombay Hockey Association (BHA) has appealed to Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh to extend the lease of its sprawling 18,800 square metres playground located in downtown Mumbai. “We are hoping for a positive response from the chief minister,” association secretary Commander Kehar Singh told IANS after a meeting with Deshmukh ahead of the Bombay High Court’s expected judgment on extension of lease of the playground.

In 1972, the state public works department leased the land to the BHA for development of hockey. The lease expired Dec 31, 2003 and the BHA sought its extension from the government.

The sports department said the BHA violated some lease conditions and the government refused to extend the lease.

In March, a city court ordered drafting of a plan to set up a sports centre.

The government prepared an ambitious Rs.160 million plan, including expenditure of Rs.30 million on improving the astro turf for hockey. It planned to spend the rest of allocation on an indoor hall, a gallery, a 400-metre synthetic track and a hostel for visiting sportspersons.

According to former Indian hockey captain Dhanraj Pillai, the hockey ground would lose exclusivity due to the sport centre.

“The ground is occupied 365 days. Every year there are around 50-70 tournaments held, ranging from school to international tournaments,” he told IANS, hoping for a positive response from the chief minister.

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