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Sunday December 4th 2016
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SAI to breath life to Trivandrum Golf Club

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The Sports Authority of India (Sai) has offered to run the Trivandrum Golf Club (TGC). TGC executive committee on Sunday gave its consent while replying to Sai director general Jiji Thomson’s letter expressing its interest.

The golf club is in dire need of funds. Its course and club house are badly maintained after take over by the state government. There is no sand in the bunkers, the roof of the restaurant is leaking and the PF of the TGC employees continues to be withheld by the state government. The Employees’ Provident Fund Organization had recently raided the club and confiscated cash before the state government could deposit it in the treasury.

“Sai’s proposal is a welcome gesture. There is a need for professional management of the club, which has close to 600 active members. I am sure the state government will allow Sai’s involvement as the common man’s money is currently being utilized to maintain the course and it’s burning a hole in the government’s pocket. Sai has our guarded consent as rights of our members must be protected,” said the golf club captain, John Thomas.

Thomson, an avid golfer, said he was aware that the club was in need of maintenance. “Talks were held at an unofficial level with the state government and the TGC. I know things are not going well for the TGC. I had some ideas in mind and wanted the members’ consent first. Now that I have it, I will study the matter closely, understand its liability and see what can be done at our end. The idea is to elevate the TGC to a Golf Academy, a first-of-its-kind in India run by a government entity,” he said.

The 25-acre golf club was taken over by the state during the LDF government after the revenue department directed the club’s management to vacate its premises for violating the licence terms and conditions (the club was operating a bar on its premises and was also renting out its premises for private parties).

* Original agreement between Trivandrum Golf Club and government in 1967, giving the 9-hole 25-acre golf club for lease, said the government could cancel the licence of the club with one month notice in case of violation of conditions, and with one-year notice in case the government wishes to take the golf course back even otherwise.

* The last LDF government decided to take over the golf course back under its control, citing lease rules violation, including using the premises for non-sporting purposes like running a bar, renting it out for marriages, film shootings, etc.

* After a long-drawn legal battle, the LDF government succeeded in 2010, as the SC allowed the government to take back the golf course.

* Currently it is being managed by the revenue department., with ADM in the role of the estate officer

* Though the UDF government decided to cancel the LDF decision and lease it back to the TGC, the matter has not been implemented due to serious opposition from various corners.

* The 25-acre golf course has over 3,400 trees in over 1,000 species. The club building, a heritage structure, is noted for its combination of traditional and European architecture style.

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