Eden Gardens lease to be renewed within 3-4 months: army
The lease of Eden Gardens would be renewed in favour of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) within the next three to four months, according to a Defence spokesman.
"The lease papers are now with the Ministry of Defence. They are processing it. I think the renewal will take maximum three to four months from now," said Group captain R K Das.
Das said though the CAB sought a 30-year renewal, the Eastern Command has recommended a 15-year extension to the Defence Ministry.
"We have made the recommendation. However, it is now upto the Ministry. They will decide whether it will be a 10 year, or 25 year lease," he said.
The Eden Gardens is situated in the Maidan area, the hub of sports in the city, which is under the jurisdiction of the army.
The lease granted to the CAB earlier, expired last year, following which the Association applied for a renewal.
However, with the lease application remaining pending till date, the present Prasun Mukherjee-led regime at the CAB had come under fire repeatedly from the rival group owing allegiance to his predecessor Jagmohan Dalmiya.
In another twist to the tale, West Bengal Sports Minister Subhas Chakraborty urged the army authority to give the lease of the Eden Gardens to the state government, saying the CAB had failed to make full use of it.
"Cricket is played only for a few days at the Eden. If the lease is given to he state government, we will use it as a multi-sports venue, and there will be year-long activity," Chakraborty said earlier.
But the state government distanced itself from Chakraborty's move, saying the minister had articulated his personal view.
Das, however, said the organisers of BCCI's multi-billion dollar Indian Premier League matches at the Eden, would have to apply for a fresh permission from the army.
"Their missive seeking permission must be accompanied by a reommendation from the CAB in this regard. Because we know only the CAB and no other organisation, Red Chillies Entertainment (RCE) or IPL," he added.
The Eden Gardens is the home venue of the Kolkata team, which is owned by Bollywood megastar Shahrukh Khan's RCE.
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