Maharashtra minister miffed with Gavaskar over non-utilization of Mumbai plot
Maharashtra Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad on Wednesday said that legendary batsman Sunil Gavaskar should utilize a government plot allotted to him in Mumbai by setting up a cricket academy, which remains unutilized even after over 30 years of allotment. Expressing disappointment in a series of tweets, Ahwad said that he had, in the past, thought of taking back the prime piece of land.
MHADA had leased the land in 1986 for cricket academy
Notably, Maharashtra Housing & Area Development Authority (MHADA) had leased the land to a trust started by Gavaskar for a cricket academy in 1986, but no headway has been made on the project. The plot has been allotted to the Sunil Gavaskar Cricket Foundation Trust.
Didn't cancel allotment because of Gavaskar's contribution to cricket: Awhad
Awhad said, "I had almost taken the decision to cancel the allotment of the 2,000 sq meter plot located in Bandra (East). Despite such a huge size and prime location, the proposed cricket academy has not yet come there." "I did not cancel the allotment because of Gavaskar's stature and his great contribution to the game," he added.
Housing ministry will take matter to its logical end: Awhad
"The plot was given to him for setting up a cricket academy and he should utilize it for that. I was ready to take the plot back along with MHADA (state-run housing agency) and utilize it for some good purpose," Awhad said. "The housing ministry will write to people concerned and take the matter to its logical end," he said.
He should make the best out of the plot: Awhad
"Had it not been #sunilgavaskar as the housing minister, (I) would have canceled the allotment I m one who used to c god in #SunilGavaskar," Awhad tweeted on late Wednesday night. "Now at least he should make the best out of the plot. Can't forget the day he was clean bowled by #PhilipsDefraitis and I left the stadium crying," he added.
Here is what Awhad tweeted
जर सुनिल गावस्कर नसता तर कदाचित त्याला आज देण्यात आलेला म्हाडाचा प्लॉट मी रद्द केला असता. ज्या दिवशी सुनिल गावस्कर फिलिप्स डिफ्रायटेस च्या चेंडूवरती त्रिफळाचीत झाला. त्या दिवसापासून जवळ-जवळ माझा क्रिकेट मधला इंटरेस्टच संपला. स्टेडियम मधून रडत बाहेर पडलो होतो— Dr.Jitendra Awhad (@Awhadspeaks) September 15, 2021
MHADA official had approached state government for resumption of land
According to The Indian Express, in 2019, MHADA's then chief executive officer Milind Mhaiskar had approached the Maharashtra government seeking the resumption of the land. MHADA had leased the plot near Rangsharda Auditorium in Bandra Reclamation to Gavaskar's trust for a period of 60 years, and the terms and conditions of allotment were revised in 1999, 2002, and 2007.
Despite several extensions, trust failed to comply with conditions: Official
"As per the conditions of allotment, the trust was required to initiate the construction work within three months of allotment, and finish it within three years. Despite several extensions, the trust failed to comply with the conditions," an official had told The Indian Express earlier.