It is curtains down for the 107-year-old Royal Madras Yacht Club near the Napier Bridge after the Public Works Department (PWD) took over the land on Thursday in which the club was located following a Madras High court verdict.
The eviction process took place under the direction of the Chennai Collector, A Shanmuga Sundram, by the PWD authorities with police support
A senior official of PWD said, “The land was embroiled in a legal dispute between the Royal Madras Yacht Club (RMYC) and the department for over a decade. In the meantime, we received complaints that the premises were not properly maintained. The club had around 15 boats to train individuals in sailing. We evicted the properties belonged to the club. It was also shut for a short period of time.”
On September 28, an eviction notice was issued under the Tamil Nadu Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1975. Immediately, the club filed a plea which was quashed by the high court on October 27.
Originally, the eight grounds land was leased to the club in 1973 for a period of 25 years. As the contract ended in 1999, the state government issued a notice to take over the possession of the land. While the club initiated the civil and criminal proceedings despite the State government offered a plot in Vepery to set up a club.
Subsequently, the state issued a Government Order to the club in 2005 declaring it for public use. The club challenged the order to stop the eviction process. The government, however, has not yet taken a decision regarding construction of any new facilities at the premises.
“We have received a proposal from the Indian Coast Guard which requires a landing pad for their choppers while carrying out relief measures during the disasters. But the government is yet to decide in this regard,” the official said.