Hubballi: The Hubballi Sports Ground issue has cropped up again, now with the veteran writer Patil Puttappa threatening to go on hunger strike opposing inordinate delay by the authorities to take possession of the playground at Deshpande Nagar which was being converted into a sports and recreation club in Hubballi.
Almost two years ago, sports lovers had agitated demanding the government to take over the sports ground and to throw it open for free public use but nothing had taken place since then, said Puttappa who also is the honorary president of Hubballi Sports Ground Bachao Samiti (HSGBS).
Speaking to media persons here on Thursday, Puttappa stated that he would never withdraw from the struggle to make the ground, a public one.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had given an assurance in this regard about making the ground open for public use but nothing had been done so far, he said adding that government’s inaction to take back the playground, now in possession of the Karnataka Gymkhana Assoaciation (KGA), had forced him to think of a hunger strike.
Hubballi Sports Ground Bachao Samiti President C B L Hegde stated that the legal fight over the ground was still on and that the KGA had already experienced some setback.
“We are hoping that District In-charge Minister Vinay Kulkarni would do something. We had urged many MLAs to raise the issue in the ongoing session of the State Legislature but they neglected it”, he lamented.
Dr Gangubai Hangal Music Foundation President Manoj Hangal alleged that the KGA had encroached upon the land of Sawai Gandharva Hall also, to develop the sports and recreation club complex.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had initiated an inquiry into the issue in 2013 and Deputy Commissioner of Dharwad Sameer Shukla, in his report submitted to the government, had recommended keeping the playground “open for the public”.
But subsequently no action was taken. After HSGBS approached the court, JMFC court had ordered KGA to not carry out any illegal construction.