By Manu Pubby, ET Bureau | Jul 19, 2016
NEW DELHI: Cricketing icon Sachin Tendulkar had sought Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s help to rescue a plush holiday retreat he frequents in Landour, Mussoorie, from a security dispute with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
Such was the urgency of the matter that Tendulkar, a Rajya Sabha member, even cut short a trip to Australia last year just to meet Parrikar with this request, senior defence ministry officials familiar with the matter told ET.
The property in question is his famed summer den Dahlia Bank in the Landour cantonment area that has allegedly breached the 50-foot, no-construction zone next to the Institute of Technology Management, a sensitive DRDO establishment.
The home is partly owned by Tendulkar’s business partner Sanjay Narang. Parrikar is believed to have given a “patient hearing” to the Indian batting legend but desisted from making any intervention in the issue.
The nstituite’s version is that Narang had obtained permissions to build tennis courts in what is called the ‘restricted construction zone’ around the establishment but instead went on to construct full-fledged buildings.
Narang did not respond to questions sent by ET but his representative, who did not want to be named, claimed that the area in dispute fell outside the zone. She further alleged that the DRDO institute had taken a “faulty stand” and had made “wrong interpretations”.
The hotelier owns several properties in and around the Landour cantonment area that has emerged as a high end tourist destination near Mussoorie.
However, these building activities have attracted controversy with a complaint on “illegal high-investment commercial activities” reaching the Central Vigilance Commission and Central Bureau of Investigation last month.