Tennis courts

Rajkot civic organization to lease six tennis courts to individuals

Following a lukewarm response from tennis fans for the use of synthetic courts on an individual membership basis, the Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) is ready to rent six of the eight courts located in the Race Course Sports Complex to private academies in an annual rent of Rs 14.5 lakh. The decision comes after a leading school, which had rented these courts, handed them over citing the Covid-19 pandemic.

RMC’s sports department forwarded a proposal to the civic body’s standing committee to seek approval for the rental of three courts each to Varshan Rangani of Alia Tennis Academy and Kishan Harnesha of AR Tennis Academy. The department had issued tenders for these six tennis courts in June of this year. In total, five parties had submitted bids of which Rangani’s rent offer of Rs 8.25 lakh per year appeared as the highest bid for the three tennis courts in Block-1.

Likewise, Harnesha’s bid of Rs 6.25 lakh emerged as the highest rent bid for the other three tennis courts in Block-2.

According to the proposal, a total of three parties have expressed an interest in taking the Block-1 courts on lease while only two parties have submitted offers for those in Block-2. These courts, which are synthetic hardcourts, are located near the synthetic athletics track behind the indoor stadium of the Hippodrome Sports Complex and the civic organization offers to rent them for three years.

The standing committee is likely to take an appeal on the proposal at its scheduled meeting on Tuesday.

RMC’s sports department decision comes after SN Kansagra School (SNK), a leading private school in the city, ceded these courts midway through a three-year rental contract and a response discreet from tennis fans by using these courts on a subscription basis. “These courts were inaugurated in 2016 and we have made them available to tennis fans on a monthly and annual subscription basis. But we received a lame response from tennis fans and hence we rented them out to SNK in March 2019, for an annual rent of Rs 25 lakh. However, SNK returned them in June 2020, citing difficulties related to the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore, we reopened these courts for use on an individual membership basis, but got a mixed response. Therefore, we again offered to rent them to private individuals, ”said Deepen Dodiya, deputy director of the sports department who is assigned as a special duty officer (OSD) at the Race Course Sports Complex.

He said the cumulative annual rent of Rs 14.5 lakh is lower than that offered by the private school. “However, this seems normal, considering the overall response from tennis fans. Our two tennis courts, in front of the indoor stadium, which are open to individual members have only about 50 members and its use is is also not optimal, “said the OSD.

Dodiya said private parties would not be allowed to charge a coaching fee of more than Rs 2,000 per month for children under 12 and Rs 3,000 for those over 12. “However, our two courts in front of the indoor stadium remain open to individual memberships at the rate of Rs 3,000 per quarter and Rs 11,000 per year to access the court one hour per day,” he added.

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