Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar could lose the plot for his indoor cricket academy in Mumbai as there’s been no movement on procuring the land for the last 30 years.
According to a report in the Indian Express on Monday, the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) has written a letter to the state government urging them to take back the land which was handed over to Gavaskar’s foundation in 1988 under the condition that the construction would start in three months and be completed in three years.
Following that, the terms and conditions have been revised thrice since then, but there has been no construction on it yet.
“The allotment of the land was made over 31 years ago. But the construction work (for the academy) is yet to commence. We’ve sent a proposal to the state government for resumption of the land,” MHADA CEO Milind Mhaiskar was quoted as saying.
BJP MP Ashish Shelar, a former president of the MCA, also backed the decision by MHADA and expressed the same in a letter written to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray who reportedly met Gavaskar in the recent past.
“I’m writing to you in regard of the land allotment and the recent meeting of Shri Sunil Gavaskar with your kindself,” Shelar wrote to the chief minister, according to the report.
He added, “At various times since the allotment of the land, Shri Gavaskar has sought relaxations and concessions in the terms and conditions of the allotment, which has been granted by the government. Despite this, no lease agreement has been signed, nor have steps been taken to protect the land (against encroachments).
“We are immensely proud of Gavaskar’s cricketing achievements and would like Mumbai and the country to benefit from his immense wisdom, but given the extraordinary delay of three decades since the allotment and the non utilisation, I would appreciate if MHADA goes forward with its decision for ensuring the utilisation of the plot for setting up of a cricket academy.”