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Thursday, Oct 24, 2019

Kotla ‘deed’: No lease, but no worries for powerful DDCA

Cricket matches can be taken away from the iconic Ferozshah Kotla in Delhi, if the reply to a recent RTI application is anything to go by. Khurram Habib reports. Kotla muddle

cricket Updated: Jun 03, 2012 02:08 IST
Khurram Habib
Khurram Habib
Hindustan Times

Cricket matches can be taken away from the iconic Ferozshah Kotla in Delhi, if the reply to a recent RTI application is anything to go by.

The application filed by former cricketer Kirti Azad over a month back (April 28) to the Land and Development Office (LDO) of the Ministry of Urban Development (MUD) sought to ascertain whether the Delhi and District Cricket Association has a lease in place.

The reply, dated May 18, is shocking. It says, “No lease deed/ agreement/ license deed has been executed so far due to non-completion of requisite formalities by the DDCA.” It further mentions that, “for serious breaches, action as per terms of the lease is taken which include issue of show-cause notice, re-entry of premises.”

Shaky turf
In short, the LDO can ask the DDCA to vacate the premises anytime. And if that happens, a substantial amount of over Rs. 100 crore that BCCI has given to them over the past four years since the stadium was renovated would go waste as it has been spent on a stadium on which DDCA has no rights. What comes as a big surprise is that the lease hasn’t been signed for the past 10 years.

But that did not stop the DDCA from selling 10 corporate boxes in 2005 for Rs. 36 crore. ONGC, in reply to another RTI application, admitted to paying Rs. 4 crore for two corporate boxes.

The LDO hasn’t signed the lease as DDCA hasn’t got approvals from the Delhi Urban Arts Commission (DUAC), the local municipal corporation (MCD) and even the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), all of which are required to execute the lease agreement.

Issues like the stadium’s height being five metres above the permitted level, the non-construction of a foot overbridge and no expenditure being incurred on beautification have been cited for the non-issuance of no-objection certificates (NOCs) by these bodies.

A provisional occupancy certificate was issued by the MCD which was valid only till April 10, the day Kotla hosted the first of eight IPL games this year.

Fee without lease
The DDCA has been paying annual lease fees of R24.64 lakh despite the absence of a lease. When contacted, Sneh Bansal, the DDCA general secretary, said, “Well, we don’t have the lease.

But we are in a helpless situation. The overbridge can’t be constructed as the road isn’t of the standard width. Also, the DUAC hasn’t let us know what sort of beautification is needed. If we spend Rs. 50-60 lakh on it and if they don’t like it, the money may go waste. Also, there is some confusion over the height.”

First Published: Jun 03, 2012 01:53 IST

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