The 35th National Games are scheduled to be held in December 2013 and officials at the National Games Secretariat (NGS) are busy with the preparations. However, the University of Kerala seems to be least interested in the event.
Citing flimsy reasons, the University has not signed the contract to lease out around 37 acres of land belonging to it on the Kariavattom campus for the construction of a greenfield stadium for the Games. The concession agreement and MoU for construction were signed by NGS, Kerala University and ITNL, the concessionaire, back in April. The inauguration of construction of work was held in May.
However, the dispute over a clause in the lease agreement is keeping the Kerala University from signing it.
According to NGS, the government had agreed to the demands of University such as hike in the lease amount, reducing the contract period from 30 years to 15 years etc.
A University official said that an additional clause included in the contract was the issue. “Without prior sanction of the University, a clause allowing mortgage of land was included in the agreement. This is not acceptable to the University. Since the stadium is being developed by a private firm, such as a clause cannot be accepted. Also, we had earlier demanded 3 per cent of market value as lease amount. However, it was finally agreed at 2.5 per cent. This was approved by the Syndicate recently,” the official said.
While the University is raising the issue of ‘mortgage’, some see it as a plot to sabotage the event. But, after remaining idle for months, the government has finally decided to intervene; a high-level meeting will be held on Wednesday to discuss the issue.
The University will get a stadium on its land and the ownership will be handed over to it by end of the lease period of 15 years. The greenfield stadium of international standards will have a playing field, main stadium, club house, food courts, restaurants, commercial space, dormitory etc. It will have a seating capacity of 50,000. The indoor stadium will have basketball, badminton, volleyball, handball and table tennis courts. In addition, there will be a gym and spa facility, Olympic-size swimming pool with aquatic centre and convention centre with a capacity of 2,000.