Land logjam may force NCA out of City

The long-standing land dispute between the BCCI and the Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB) could well cost the City the prestigious National Cricket Academy, currently situated at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium premises.

The academy started functioning in 2000 from the Chinnaswamy but in 2010 the BCCI decided to move its facilities to a larger area on the city outskirts. Subsequently, the NCA signed a deal worth close to Rs 50 crore with the KIADB to purchase a 49-acre land near the Kempegowda International Airport in Devanhalli in 2013. The deal, however, was struck down as illegal by the High Court of Karnataka following a series of PILs filed by the affected parties.

While the BCCI so far has not been able to recover the money stuck with the KIADB, they have also not been given an alternative land to construct their ambitious state-of-the-art Centre of Excellence.

As a result, the NCA board, in its meeting on Thursday in New Delhi, decided to move the academy out of Bengaluru if the land is not allotted and short-listed Dharamsala, Mohali and Pune as possible venues to house the new facilities.

KSCA secretary Brijesh Patel, who is also the Director of the NCA, felt there is still hope of the city retaining the academy if the State government provided the required land. “They (BCCI) want to have their own land,” Brijesh told Deccan Herald. “If they get the land they are looking for, it (NCA) will remain here only,” he added.

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