The Bombay Hockey Association, housed in the Mahindra Stadium and in existence since 1934, has been served a notice by the government to vacate their premises by Monday morning following the expiry of the lease period.
The notice was served by the Youth and Cultural Affairs ministry of the Maharashtra Government after the lease, which was handed out to BHA two years ago, was not renewed.
Confirming that the BHA had indeed been served a notice to vacate the premises, BHA's Secretary Kehar Singh said they would fight the order tooth and nail and take recourse to the court.
Kehar Singh also alleged that the eviction order has come in the wake of the BHA's refusal to give away part of its structure in its northern part, lying adjacent to the Mumbai Cricket Association's Wankhede Stadium, to the latter for expansion of stands to accommodate more cricket spectators.
"We have said no to the MCA's request. We are the oldest sports body in Mumbai and hockey is our national game. We will resist the attempts to throw us out," Kehar Singh said.
"It was a clever ploy by them to serve a notice on us dated the 8th of September on September 9, knowing that the courts would be closed today and tomorrow. But we will approach the court and fight it out," he said.
"We have been writing to the concerned authorities to extend our lease over the last two years, but they have failed to respond. The government can't remove a slum dweller who has put up his shack three days earlier. How can they do it to us," fumed Kehar Singh.