Saturday, June 02, 2018


Daily Pioneer: Lucknow: Saturday, June 02, 2018.
An application under Right to Information (RTI) Act exposed how Sports Directorate as well as officials of Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) preferred to ignore commercial activities going in BBD Badminton Academy in Gomatinagar in open violation of the lease agreement.
The land was given on 90-year lease to BBD Badminton Academy for peanuts with a rider that it would be used only for promotion of sports and no commercial activity would be allowed pn the campus.
But in flagrant violation of norms, the BBD Academy is openly using the land mostly for personal gains by lending the campus for marriages and other functions.
Giving details about how Sports Directorate and LDA were facilitating unlawful activities of BBD Badminton Academy, State Information Commissioner (SIC) Hafiz Usman said on Friday that he summoned all records and asked the government to conduct a high-level probe to find out the officials responsible for not taking action against the Academy and inform the Commission about action taken.
The SIC claimed that if it was necessary, then the Commission would also get a criminal case registered and get the culprits either arrested or make them compensate for the losses to the government.
Interestingly, BJP MLA in Faizabad, Ram Chander Yadav, had apprised Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on this score in September last year, He also wrote to Sport Director, RP Singh, about ongoing irregularities on the Academy campus but no action was taken as the trustee of the Academy enjoyed political and bureaiucratic patronage.
Usman claimed that a social activist filed an application under RTI, seeking whether the directorate knew about ongoing commercial activities in BBD Badminton Academy, and if yes, what action was taken so far. But, Deputy Director (Sports) AK Singh refused to give any details.
When the complainant filed an appeal and the SIC asked for details, Sports Directorate officials passed on the responsibility to LDA claiming that the latter had records as they were to act against unlawful activities.
The SIC then summoned LDA officials but they too ignored initially. After being warned of action, the LDA informed that a notice was sent to the Academy and further action was on. Usman said that as per the lease agreement done in 2000, more than Rs 1.02 crore was issued by the government to Sports Directorate to make payment to LDA for the 10 acre land in Vipin Khand at Gomti Nagar.
Para four of the agreement showed that the land would be used for promotion of sports by the Academy and no commercial activity will be allowed.
Despite the agreement, the Academy in the knowledged of officers had been utilizing the land for commercial activities and was even renting it out for marriage and other private functions.
After learning of the irregularities and finding violation of lease agreement, the SIC warned the LDA after which they initiated action in a fortnight and apprised him.
Usman has now asked the state government to take action against errant officials of the Academy, Sports Directorate and LDA.
The BBD Badminton Academy was in the news two years back when former general secretary of Badminton Association of India (BAI) Dr Vijay Sinha and other officials were allegedly involved in sexual harassment, embezzlement of funds, fraud, nepotism etc. A FIR was also registered at Hazratganj police station in that matter.