Bengaluru

Tug-of-war over National College grounds

Two educational institutions are in the process of claiming ownership over the six-acre National College grounds in Jayanagar, Bengaluru.— Photo: Bhagya Prakash K.

Two educational institutions are in the process of claiming ownership over the six-acre National College grounds in Jayanagar, Bengaluru.— Photo: Bhagya Prakash K.

A banner outside the popular National College grounds in Jayanagar 7th Block warning trespassers has come as a surprise to many locals.

A tug-of-war has broken out over the south Bengaluru landmark. Two educational institutions are in the process of claiming ownership over the six-acre plot.

The Nehru Smarak Vidya Kendra, in a letter to the president of the National Education Society of Karnataka, has staked claim over the playground on a civic amenity (CA) site and asked National College to hand over the keys to the gate.

The confusion can be traced to the previous Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) council. In February this year, the council passed a resolution handing over responsibility of maintaining the playground, popularly known as National College grounds, to the Kendra. The Kendra recently wrote to the National Education Society of Karnataka seeking keys to the playground.

The CA site where the playground is located was first leased to National Education Society of Karnataka by the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) for 30 years in 1968. At the end of the tenure, it was renewed for another 30 years.

A.H. Rama Rao, president of National Education Society of Karnataka, pointed out that the lease will end in June 2028.

“We were the ones who developed the ground in the first place. When we got the land, it was not levelled… we had to dump 300 truckloads of sand.” He said that the society has been allowing the space to be utilised by various education institutions and organisations for a nominal maintenance fee.

“After we received the letter from the Kendra, we responded by quoting the BDA letter and stated that we held the possession certificate. We have not heard from them since,” he added.

Repeated attempts to reach the Kendra were futile.

Meanwhile, Mayor B.N. Manjunath Reddy said that the BDA land had been handed over to the BBMP.

Conceding that the resolution handing over the playground to another institution was made by the previous council, he said, “The council resolution is not final. The government has not approved it. Also, there is no question of handing over the playground to another institution when the lease period has not expired.”


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Printable version | Jun 11, 2022 10:06:44 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/tugofwar-over-national-college-grounds/article7835376.ece