The Revenue Department, which is the custodian of the Thiruvananthapuram Golf Course, was kept in the dark when the Cabinet in-principle gave its approval to the proposal for its takeover by the Sports Authority of India (SAI).
The Cabinet had last week given its nod to the proposal from the SAI with regard to the taking over of the golf course and transforming it into one of international standards. However, the officials in the Revenue Department alleged that they were not earlier intimidated about this.
“The proposal for transferring the land of the golf course to SAI had been much talked about. But as the Revenue Department is the custodian of the golf course, the department should have known about it,” highly placed officials said. When contacted, Revenue Minister Adoor Prakash said that the proposal was put forth in the Cabinet by the Sports Department. “The government has in-principle given the nod for the proposal,” he said. When asked about the concern raised by the Revenue Department about keeping it in the dark while taking a decision, the Minister said there was no such issue.
“We had already decided to hand over the golf course to SAI for establishing a Golf Academy,” he said. Stating that the government will not hesitate to give the land to SAI, Prakash said the golf course will be handed over subject to the decision on a case before the Supreme Court.
Even though the Revenue Minister has denied any big issue, the officials pointed out that the golf course was wrested from the Golf Club after many struggles. “There is no doubt that it is a big venture and could give a fillip to the golf course. But before taking any decision, the matter should have been discussed with the Revenue Department,” the sources said.
SAI had already conducted a feasibility study of the course for setting up the Golf Academy. Golf management expert Liam Timms led the SAI team that inspected the course in October. The 25- acre golf course was taken over during the previous Left Government’s tenure after the Revenue Department directed the club’s management to vacate its premises for violating the licence terms and conditions