HCA, Cantonment ‘tie-up’ stumps SAAP

Sports Reporter

HYDERABAD: It is official now. Hyderabad Cricket Association and the Cantonment Board entered into a fresh lease of agreement, which facilitates the former to take over about 15 acres of land at Gymkhana Grounds, up to the goalposts of the existing football ground.

A development which compelled the top official of Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh, V. Radha, to dash off a letter to the Defence Estates Officer, seeking some clarifications even while expressing surprise at being kept in the dark about the whole developments.

SAAP has every reason to be worried for till now it is using all the grounds except the Gymkhana cricket ground for football, hockey, basketball and tennis. And interestingly this shocker came to the SAAP after it cleared the dues of Rs. 6.55 lakhs as intimated by the Cantonment Board in January this year for renewal of the lease.

“What is surprising is that when there was so much of pressure on us to clear off the dues only recently, we were not in the know of things of the developments between HCA and the Board,” Radha informed ‘The Hindu’. As per the lease agreement (which incidentally lapsed in 2002), SAAP has access to 7.15 acres of playing area and 0.52 acres of constructed area (including the DSDO office and change rooms).

Significantly, when V. Radha contacted the Defence officials on Wednesday, she was confirmed that the SAAP lease is less than its possession of the land and it has been earmarked after the recent survey.

This effectively means that the boundaries of the football ground have to re-drawn. A sad commentary for only now things have brightened up on the football front with the AIFF nominee of AP football affairs C. R. Visswanathan has successfully started fielding State teams after camps and selection trials for different age group Nationals. As far as HCA is concerned, it is now an open secret that its plans include coming up with a Club House at the far end of the existing pavilion block besides putting in place sand mounts at the ground for the benefit of spectators to avoid any concrete structures.

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