Even as hectic preparations are under way for the visit of the President to Hubballi to receive civic honour from the Hubballi-Dharwad Municipal Corporation, authorities and activists are divided over the venue of the event and a letter has been sent to the President’s office over it.
While some activists, including members of Hubballi Sports Ground Bachao Samiti, are saying that there are cases pending before court and that the venue of the event, Karnataka Gymkhana Ground (earlier called Hubballi Sports Ground), is under litigation, the district authorities, including the Deputy Commissioner of Dharwad, have clarified that there is no dispute over it.
On Friday, president of Hubballi Sports Ground Bachao Samiti C.B.L. Hegde wrote (via email) to the office of the President saying that holding the civic honour for the President on a disputed land denigrated the office of the President.
In his mail, Mr. Hegde has mentioned about the Writ Petition (100490 /2021 - GM-CPC) was pending before the High Court of Karnataka regarding the disputed land i.e., Karnataka Gymkhana Ground.
He has said that a bar, spa and cards club is being run on the disputed land and the samiti will urge the President’s office to change the venue of the function. He has also said that the samiti heartily welcomed the President to Hubballi to receive the civic honour but not on the controversial Gymkhana Association Recreation Club.
Meanwhile, President of Karnataka Thinkers Forum and advocate P.H. Neeralakeri has also written to the President’s secretary and Deputy Commissioner of Dharwad Gurudatta Hegde on this.
In his letter to the Deputy Commissioner, Mr. Neeralakeri has said that the writ petition in the High Court pertaining to Karnataka Gymkhana Association is not regarding excise licence. Basically, the Original Suit was filed challenging the impugned ownership of the Gymkhana Association and illegal construction.
Earlier, the entire issue was delineated in a concise form with the recommendations of the Deputy Commissioner for appropriate action by the government but unfortunately it is pending. The issue has been pending for last 10 years in the court of law and all the authorities concerned have knowledge of it, Mr. Neeralakeri has said in the letter.
It may be recalled that Mayor of Hubballi-Dharwad Iresh Anchatageri had said that there is no controversy over the playground.