With the high court dismissing the petition filed by Burlton Park Welfare Society to stop the development of a sports hub at the stadium, citing danger to ecology due to uprooting of trees, the road is now clear for the municipal corporation to restart its dream project.
A double bench of Punjab and Haryana high court, comprising chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and justice Augustine George Masih on Wednesday dismissed the petition.
The corporation had earlier chalked out a project to build a sports hub on the 60-acre Burlton Park, with a cricket stadium and a swimming pool of international standards, and passed a resolution to this effect in 2008.
The project was to be completed in two phases, with construction of a cricket stadium and an indoor stadium with a swimming pool of international standards at a cost of Rs. 140-crore in the first stage, and beautification work in the second stage.
In 2010, the cricket stadium in the park was razed to pave way for construction of a new one. The project was earlier abandoned due to lack of funds and in 2009, the welfare society approached the high court and filed a public interest litigation (an amended petition was also filed in July, 2012) demanding that the project be stopped as it involved axing of several trees.
A three-member team of experts from Punjab Agriculture University, Ludhiana, also tabled a report after inspecting the proposed site twice, before the court today. “As many as 132 trees were earmarked by the team for axing, of which 17 trees had been identified to be transplanted at a different place,” mayor Sunil Jyoti revealed.
“In a day or two, we will call the contractor and chalk out the next course of action to turn this dream project into a reality as early as possible. The work will be completed in a phased manner. It will prove to a booster for the local sports industry, the mayor said.
The project plan
Of the total 60 acre, a cricket stadium with a seating capacity of 40,000 would be built on 26 acres, and 2.5 acres would be used for roads. The stadium will also have a VVIP lounge, media lounge and roofing above the entire pavilion.
The remaining works, including the construction of an Olympics-level swimming pool on 2.5 acres, hockey ground on 9 acres, two 3,000-capacity multi-storey parking lots, and a five-star hotel, would be carried out in the subsequent phase.
The roads surrounding the stadium would also be widened and 70 new shops would be constructed in the periphery. For operation and maintenance of sports facilities and repayment of loans, a provision of commercial complexes would be made on 10 acre within the park.
The MC had allocated the project to Hyderabad-based firm Nagarjuna Construction Company for Rs. 134.9 crore, and got a loan of Rs. 130 crore sanctioned for the project from Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO), but it was written-off. Later, the MC availed a Rs. 60-crore loan from HUDCO for other development projects.