The sprawling Annandale ground of critical importance for the Army will stay with it and the Himachal Pradesh Government will withdraw the “arbitration proceedings” to get back the ground, whose lease expired about three decades ago.
An assurance in this regard was given by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh to General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (Western Command) Lieutenant-General Sanjiv Chachra, who met him here on Tuesday.
The Annandale ground had become a bone of contention between the previous Bharatiya Janata Party government and the Army as the State wanted the ground back and the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA), headed by MP Anurag Thakur, who is also the son of former Chief Minister P.K. Dhumal, was keen to develop a cricket stadium there.
Lt. Gen. Chachra underlined the criticality of Annandale ground for Army operations along the Northern borders as also for unforeseen disaster relief contingency operations and Mr. Virbhadra Singh said necessary directions would be issued to withdraw the arbitration proceedings.
Snubbing HPCA’s demand for possession of the ground to develop a multi-purpose stadium, the Army on Sunday had said the country’s security can’t be ignored for any game. — PTI