Controversy-coloured waters raise a storm
THE PLUSH swimming pool of the Lucknow Golf Club, which was inaugurated on Saturday, is in troubled waters.
Serious objections have been raised to construction of the pool in alleged gross violation of the lease terms and conditions.
Those raising the objections are a group of club members at loggerheads with the present office-bearers of the elite club, trustees of Lucknow Martin Charities, which runs La Martiniere College and is owner of the land where the club is situated.
They alleged the pool plan was not approved by the Lucknow Development Authority (LDA).
In a letter to the president and the general secretary of the club, La Martiniere College principal E. deSouza said, “This is to place on record the fact that in spite of letters written to you, the Lucknow Golf Club has gone ahead with constructions on the premises leased out to it in contravention of the terms of the Lease Deed dated 19 April, 2002.”
“Since the terms of the lease granted to the Lucknow Golf Club, have been violated by the club, kindly show cause why action under the terms of the Lease Deed, be not taken,” it added.
Copies of the letter have been sent to Justice Jagdish Bhalla, High Court Judge and Chairman, Local Committee of Governors, and Juthan Singh Yadav, Legal Remembrancer to the UP Government and Trustee, Lucknow Martin Trust, besides others.
Those alleging violation of the terms maintained that clause iv of the lease clearly said, “The lessee shall not make any new construction, or any addition to or alteration in the existing club’s building, except as explicitly mentioned in, or permitted by this Lease Deed without the prior permission in writing of the lessors.”
Brushing aside all the allegations, club secretary PC Chaturvedi, who is also principal secretary to the UP Government, said that prior approval of the LDA was taken for the pool construction and that there was no violation of any clause of the Lease Deed.
However, a top official of the LDA said no such permission was sought.
In fact, Chaturvedi claimed the foundation of the swimming pool was laid by then Governor Vishnu Kant Shastri during the tenure of a previous team of club office-bearers headed by the then chief secretary AP Verma, who was then president of the club.
“How can the move to construct a swimming pool on the club premises be illegal when the then Governor and the then chief secretary were directly involved in it?” he asked.
Denying violation of the lease deed conditions, Chaturvedi quoted clause iii of the deed which said, “The lessee shall use the land for the purpose of a playground for golf only for the members of the club and may make a golf course containing trees and hazards, whinbushes, ditches, sand holes, bunkers, swards, etcetera, scattered over the course .
Chaturvedi asserted that a swimming pool was part of any golf course the world over and the club had all the rights under clause iii of the deed to construct a swimming pool, which was part of the golf course.
Some ‘overenthusiastic’ club members, as well as members of the trust, were contemplating to move court against the club management for violation of the deed terms and conditions.
Constructed at a cost of Rs 55 lakh, the swimming pool with air-conditioned change rooms, indoor and outdoor shower facilities and a filter plant, is said to be the best in the State capital.
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