Gurgaon: Farewell of senior MCG official at disputed venue raises eyebrows
The farewell function of outgoing MCG commissioner V Umashankar was organised at the banquet hall constructed by a tent house on the Huda Gymkhana Club ground. Last year, Huda had cancelled the contract of the tent house and ordered demolition of the structure after objections raised by club membersgurgaon Updated: Mar 08, 2018 22:11 IST
The Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) has come under fire for booking a disputed venue — a banquet hall constructed by a tent house on the Huda Gymkhana Club ground in Sector 29 — for holding the farewell function of outgoing MCG commissioner V Umashankar on Thursday.
Umashankar had the dual charge of MCG commissioner and chief executive officer, Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority. Yashpal Yadav replaced Umashankar as MCG commissioner this week.
Top officials, including D Suresh, deputy commissioner Vinay Pratap, police commissioner Sandeep Khirwar, Huda administrator Chander Shekhar Khare, MCG commissioner Yashpal Yadav, a few councillors and several MCG officials, were present at the event on Thursday.
On the orders of D Suresh, divisional commissioner, Gurgaon, the Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) had cancelled the contract of Billu Tent House on October 22, last year and had also ordered demolition of the structure after members of the club had objected to it.
Later, the Billu Tent House moved the local court against Huda. The owners lost the case and obtained a stay on Huda’s demolition notice from the Punjab and Haryana high court on February 5, 2018. The matter is being heard by the high court, and is, hence, sub judice.
“I will not comment on this matter as we had thought that venue was the Gymkhana Club hall,” a senior MCG official said, adding that the booking of the banquet hall of Billu Tent House has become a matter of “embarrassment” for most officials.
The cancellation order by D Suresh had come on the complaint lodged by Gymkhana Club members. The members said the Huda had signed an agreement with Billu Tent House in April 2017, allowing the owner to erect a banquet hall in the two-acre open ground adjoining the club. The agreement was signed for nine years and Huda had not floated an open tender to invite open bids.
Abhay Jain, a member of the Gymkhana Club who is a complainant in the matter, said, “State vigilance is inquiring into allotment of the club ground to the Billu Tent House after club members lodged complaints in October and D Suresh ordered to demolish the banquet hall. We have accused the Huda officials of corruption in the allotment of club ground to Billu Tent House. After we exposed the officials, the executive committee of the Huda cancelled the tender and sent a notice to Billu Tent House to vacate the ground.”
“The Billu Tent House has been hand in gloves with MCG officials and the farewell party organised by the MCG at the disputed banquet hall is unfortunate. We will write to CM Manohar Lal Khattar in this regard,” Jain said.
D Suresh said, “We all were there to grace an august occasion but it would not affect our efforts to remove the banquet hall in any way.”
Yashpal Yadav said, “Gymkhana club is a government property and there was no harm in arranging a farewell there.”
The owners of Billu tent house refused comment on the matter.