MTS residents oppose ‘unofficial’ ground leasing
LAHORE: Society members and residents have contested the subleasing of the Model Town Society’s (MTS) A, B, C and D grounds to a cellular phone company for three years. The residents have demanded the government and law enforcement agencies take action against the Model Town Greens club for subleasing the ground to the company without permission.
MTS administration officials told Daily Times that the society’s A, B, C and D grounds had been leased to various cricket clubs, including Model Town Greens. They said that under the lease contract, the cricket clubs did not have the right to sublease the grounds. However, despite the agreement between the society and the cricket club, the latter subleased the A and B grounds to a cellular phone company for three years, they added.
On Saturday evening employees of the cellular phone company and Mode Town Greens members were overlooking the construction of a cement stand for spectators. The employees were also putting up company advertisements all over the ground. However, this annoyed residents who called the police to stop them, they added.
The club administration showed the police a permission letter acquired from the former society committee’s interim secretary and the Lahore nazim, allowing them to sublease the grounds.
The residents told the police that the cooperatives registrar had passed directions that no sub-leasing of any portion of the society would be allowed. However, an elected city government official intervened and allowed the company to continue its work.
Abid Saeed, the MTS administrator, said that he did not know of any permission letter allowing the clubs to sublease the MTS grounds. He said that he had directed the deputy administrator to hold an inquiry into the matter.
He said that the administration had asked the company to remove the concrete stands and advertisements from the grounds. Regarding the permission letter, the administrator said that a former managing committee had issued it.
Amir Azam, the MTS residents’ association president, said that the MTS secretary did not have the authority to allow the construction of spectator stands. He said that the Punjab cooperatives registrar had banned the managing committee from leasing or renting anything in an order dated June 16, 2004.
He said that no one had the authority to violate the society’s master plan. He added that the construction of a concrete spectator stand was not part of the plan and was thus illegal.
Azam said that a private company could not display advertisements unless it got prior permission from a competent authority. He said that if the society wanted to lease the grounds to a company for advertising purposes it would first have to advertise a tender in a newspaper, inviting bids from various companies. He said that the entire process should be made transparent and society members should know the amount of money the society would get from the company.
Shoaib Dar, the Model Town Greens administrator, said that the club had got the permission from a former committee and the society member had no right to oppose it. He said that the club had entered a contract with the cellular phone company for three years and had every intention of seeing it through. He said that the company would help them place screens, boundary walls and drink stalls in the ground.
Asif Agha Khan, the MTS police station house officer, said that a dispute had taken place between society members and the company’s employees. He said that the club administration had showed him a permission letter acquired from the Lahore nazim and former club secretary. khawaja naseer