HC stops Kerala govt from taking over golf course

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Communists in North Korea recently embarked on establishing a golf facility around the mountainous Kumgang resort, and in Cambodia the former Khmer Rouge stronghold of Pailin is expected to have a golf course to tap the country’s tourism boom. Communists in Kerala, however , seem to hold golf in its traditional image of being quintessentially a capitalist game, and the Left Democratic Front government’s attempt to take over the Trivandrum golf club over the past weekend has proven that neither golf nor takeovers are among its core competencies. The CPM-led LDF government acted with uncharacteristic efficiency , getting revenue officials to seal the club building over the weekend, but in a quick rebuff to the government’s attempt, the Kerala High Court directed that the club be returned to its members on Tuesday itself. Justice Siri Jagan, in an interim order, reversed the government’s move, and was critical of the revenue secretary for disregarding instructions given by the advocate general. The court was also unconvinced about the “vague” show-cause notice given to the club, and was surprised at the haste shown by the government in going about the matter. On the face of it the state government’s grouse was that the club owed lease arrears running into crores of rupees, and there were also explanation that government control of the club would lend an opportunity to many more people to play golf rather than just the club’s members. But shocked club members cried foul and so did tourism industry players, who said the golf club with a history of over 150 years and built during the time of the Travancore maharajah Sreemoolam Tirunal, was one of the key attractions of the state capital . Chief minister V S Achuthanandan, who handles the IT portfolio of his ministry, had more embarrassment coming his way when the top honchos of IT companies at the Technopark here joined the chorus of protest against the club’s takeover.
4 Jun, 2008, 0451 hrs IST, TNN


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