The Sports Authority of India’s Sonepat centre has pumped in lakhs of rupees on the construction and maintenance of a six-hole mini golf course although the sport does not figure in the list of SAI disciplines. The course also does not figure in the sanctioned plan of the Sonepat centre approved by the government.
Sources say funds were diverted from the centre’s horticulture maintenance pool even as other important areas were in desperate need of maintenance. The annual horticulture maintenance contract of the centre is Rs 20 lakh per annum.
“A lot of money was spent on the golf course. Funds were wasted on digging up the soil to make a pond on the course, but then the soil was put back into the pond. When golf is not on SAI’s list of sports disciplines, why has the course been constructed?” said an official.
The authorities have also organised golf tournaments in May and June this year without taking the necessary clearance. Apart from the golf course, which, sources say, has been made exclusively for the luxury of a few officials, many other areas in the complex have also been ignored.
The grassy track, built at the cost of Rs 43 lakh is not being properly maintained due to which it is in bad shape. “Its maintenance also comes under the horticulture fund,” said the source adding the maintenance work in other areas began only after Mukesh Kumar took over as director in-charge of the Northern Regional Centre, Sonepat in September.
Mukesh said: “Maintenance is my top priority.” On the golf course, he said: “You cannot call it a golf course. As far as hosting events is concerned, I will look into the matter.”