It seems like the opening of Kharghar golf course is jinxed. The ambitious project of Cidco which was to be inaugurated yesterday by chief minister Prithviraj Chavan has been cancelled again due to the election code of conduct. The project has been waiting for opening for quite some time now. Earlier, Cidco officials were planning to open the golf course on March 17, that is on Cidco’s foundation day but it didn’t happen as the chief minister could not confirm his availability due to the budget session. According to sources, the Cidco administration wanted both the chief minister and the deputy chief minister to be present for the function. In the first week of April, the planning agency had to cancel the inauguration programme due to unavailability of the chief minister. According to officials, “The planning agency wanted that its ambitious project be inaugurated by the chief minister. Since the budget session was going on, the CM was busy and the authorities were waiting for the right time.” Now, that the code of conduct is on, the officials will have to take permission from the election commission. The code of conduct is in force due to the election of member from Raigad ZP to the legislative council. The project, which began in 2008, was supposed to be completed by December 2011.
However, it faced several hurdles delaying its scheduled target of completion. The 11-hole golf course will have a permanent club facility along with a practice driving range that would function as a training academy for golf enthusiasts. It will also house a five-star hotel. However, all these facilities will be available only in the second phase. After the opening, Cidco will start ‘pay and play’ scheme at the golf course. Till the appointment of a permanent club facility and adhoc club will manage the affairs at the golf club. The work of the golf course has been carried out under the supervision of famous golf player Phil Rayon. The golf course project, spanning an area of 103 hectare, had landed in trouble after the forest department lodged offences of encroachment of forestland against the planning agency in September 2010. Due to certain issues with the forest department, the golf course could not be completed as per the schedule. Initially, it was planned as an 18-hole course but had to be reduced to an 11-hole course, which was a major setback. The planning agency had to redesign the entire architectural plan of the golf course because of which the project delayed. The construction of the golf course had commenced on January 31, 2008. Meanwhile, residents were of the view that there is no need to wait for the chief minister or the deputy chief minister to inaugurate the project. The same can be done by a freedom fighter or any defense personnel who has fought wars for the country.