Sachin Tendulkar bats for disputed resort in Mussoorie
Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar has sought Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s intervention in the resolution of a property dispute involving a holiday resort in Landour, Mussoorie. Dahlia Bank, the popular property which is partly owned by Tendulkar’s business partner Sanjay Narang, is faced with a dispute with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
Defense Ministry officials familiar with the matter told The Economic Times (ET) that the property, located in the Landour cantonment area, has allegedly breached the 50-foot, no-construction zone next to the Institute of Technology Management – a sensitive DRDO establishment. Tendulkar is believed to have cut short his Australia trip last year to meet with Manohar Parrikar.
Despite providing the legend with a “patient hearing”, the minister was reportedly noncommittal as far as an intervention from the ministry was concerned.
A senior official told ET, "Tendulkar had been trying to meet the minister and an appointment was set up. He spoke at length about the property case, which was heard out. However, no action was taken on the request put forward".
Tendulkar has not responded on the matter. Meanwhile, the defence ministry has issued no formal comment on the issue as well.
According to the Institute, permissions were obtained by Sanjay Narang to build tennis courts in the “restricted zone” around the designated area but instead full-fledged buildings were constructed. However, Narang’s representatives claim that the disputed area falls outside the zone. The representative also accused the DRDO institute of making “wrong interpretations” and of having taken a “faulty stand”.
The Landour cantonment area is a popular tourist destination near Mussoorie and Narang, an hotelier, reportedly owns several properties around the area. However, the ever-increasing construction in the area has drawn criticism and controversies with several complaints pertaining to "illegal high-investment commercial activities” being made to the Central Vigilance Commission and Central Bureau of Investigation in the recent months.
And now with Tendulkar’s alleged involvement, the matter is bound to draw attention. Tendulkar has historically put his popularity to philanthropic use. His adoption of a village in Andhra Pradesh is just one of several campaigns undertaken by him towards the betterment of the civic society. That said, with the emergence of this report, his detractors will be quick to pounce on him with accusations of using his clout to come to the assistance of his business partner over a disputed property.