CM clears decks for swank gymkhana for MLAs, babus | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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CM clears decks for swank gymkhana for MLAs, babus

Legislators and bureaucrats may soon unwind at an exclusive gymkhana at Cuffe Parade, next to the World Trade Centre, reports Ketaki Ghoge.

mumbai Updated: Mar 04, 2010 01:58 IST
Ketaki Ghoge

Legislators and bureaucrats may soon unwind at an exclusive gymkhana at Cuffe Parade, next to the World Trade Centre.

Chief Minister Ashok Chavan on Wednesday asked the administration to speed up the processes to secure this gymkhana.

All 288 members of the state assembly and 78 members of the legislative council, former legislators, MPs and bureaucrats, could avail membership of this club.

In 2002, the state cabinet had decided to gift itself a five-star gymkhana on the 18,685 sq m government plot at Cuffe Parade.

In 2003, the state legislature even passed a bill withdrawing Rs 5 crore from the contingency fund, meant for droughts and calamities, for the project.

But construction has been pending following public outcry and environmental hurdles.

“There is no blueprint… but the gymkhana was envisioned as a five-star one with all facilities from a swimming pool and tennis courts to jacuzzi. The expenses will go beyond Rs 5 crore and hence permission will be required from the National Coastal Zone Management Authority,’’ said a bureaucrat, on condition of anonymity.

Chavan has now directed Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) as the nodal authority to construct the gymkhana and keep the land encroachment-free.

There are reports that a private investor will build the gymkhana.

Chavan also directed the MMRDA to seek clearance for the project from the state environment body.

As the plot falls under coastal regulation zone-II, any construction will require permission from the state and centre coastal zone authorities.

He also directed Ramesh Kumar, additional chief secretary of the revenue department, to held a meeting with all the departments concerned on the issue within eight days.

But several non-profit organisations, such as AGNI, have termed the usage of this prime plot for legislators and bureaucrats a blatant misuse of power.

In 2004-05, the Comptroller and Auditor General report had found that the state had lost an estimated Rs 39 crore revenue as lease from this plot as it was shifted to legislature from the government.