Much to the chagrin of its members, the UT estate office staff sealed the premises of 37-year-old Central Club in Sector 9 here on early Saturday morning.
The orders to seal the club premises were passed by the UT administration on Friday, following the failure of the club management to clear its dues. However, the officials had failed to get the club vacated, as the members present at the club interrupted the eviction proceedings. The staff had relented following an assurance that the dues would be cleared by Monday.
The assurance notwithstanding, a team led by ADC Mahavir Kaushik and others reached the club at around 9:30am on Saturday and within an hour sealed the premises. Officials informed that furniture and other assets of the club will be put to auction and the money recovered will be adjusted against the pending rent.
Giving details, demolition drive officer Ravinder Sharma said: "The premises were sealed without any force and peacefully. Though a police team later arrived at the club, but the premises had been sealed by then."
Meanwhile, the members who had raised a hue and cry on Friday over the sealing of club premises remained tightlipped about their plan of action. Club president Vinod Talwar said: "We met the UT adviser at his residence and he gave us a patient hearing. He has assured to look into the matter on Monday. We will be able to plan our next course of action after the UT adviser KK Sharma takes a decision."
On Friday, the members present at the club had accused the officials of carrying out the orders deliberately during evening hours since they knew that Saturday and Sunday were holidays and the club members would not have been able to move court against the action.
Central Club is one of the oldest clubs of the city with over 1,300 members, most of whom are senior citizens. According to the estate office, the club owes over Rs 1.25 crore to the administration besides the interest on the amount. The club paid Rs 25,567 per month as rent between April 1998 and 2000. The rent was revised to Rs 1,31,947 per month, along with interest.
The rent was calculated by taking the cost of land under building norms at a rate of Rs 4,000 per square yard. However, since then the club management and the administration had been at loggerheads on the issue. The lease was eventually cancelled in July 2004. Though the matter is in court, the UT Administration managed to procure eviction orders and sealed the premises.