Minister threatens Golf Club takeover

Last Updated 28 December 2018, 19:40 IST

The state government appears to be eyeing the prime Bangalore Golf Club property on Sankey Road to turn it into the Legislators’ Club.

Public Works Minister H D Revanna on Friday said the government will move to act against the elite club, including a possible takeover, in view of “serious violations” it has committed.

“There are serious violations. We didn’t give them land to run a club, bar and hotel. Where is the provision for them to construct buildings? How can they commit such violations in the heart of the city? I’ve asked my secretary to take action, failing which my secretary will face action,” Revanna told reporters.

The government, he said, was scouting for land in Bengaluru where legislators can spend quality time. “It is a hard life for them dealing with people every day. We can get the Golf Club vacated so that the MLAs can at least have some leisure,” he said.

The Bangalore Golf Club (BGC) is said to be the oldest golf course outside the British Isles, established in June 1876. The 18-hole course is located on a 60-acre plot.

The club counts the city’s who’s who as its members. “Regardless of who the members are, I have the power to take it over. I am the public works minister. I will ask my secretary to take it,” Revanna asserted. He even quipped that the club had committed violations because it has “retired bureaucrats” as members.

According to Public Works Secretary K N Krishna Reddy, the club’s land agreement with the government will end in 2021. “The club got the land during the British rule back in 1882. At present, the agreement is renewed once every 10 years,” he said.

The Golf Club was served notice over the alleged violations in October, for which it has not replied.

Revanna said another notice will be served to the club. “We will take over the club if it comes to that.” In July this year, Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara said the government would explore relocating the golf course after a golf ball landed on IPS officer Seemanth Kumar Singh’s car parked inside Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy’s home office Krishna on Kumara Krupa Road.

This is not the first time the government is locking horns with private clubs. In early 2017, a legislature committee formed to look into the functioning of clubs recommended membership for legislators and doing away with dress code followed by some elite clubs.

(Published 28 December 2018, 19:23 IST)

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