The century-old Kanjikhowa golf course at Chabua in upper Assam’s Dibrugarh district has been ploughed to turn it into a tea garden.
The Apeejay Tea, the tea firm of Apeejay Surrendra Group, which owns the golf course, started to plough it by using tractor for tea plantation.
However, the golfers in upper Assam have expressed deep anguish at the decision of Apeejay Tea.
Kanjikhowa golf course is one of the oldest golf courses in India.
As per reports, the golf course was curated by J. Alson, then superintendent of Assam Frontier Company in 1894-1900.
In 1911, the first tournament – Assam Frontier Challenge Cup – was organized in the golf course under the stewardship of A.U. Crows.
The golf course, spread over nearly 18 hectares of land, is one of the nine gold courses enlisted under the state tourism department as a registered golf course of the state.
The senior citizens, environmentalists and locals have expressed concern over the ploughing the golf course.
“Kanjikhowa golf course is one of the oldest golf courses in India. We urged the Apeejay Tea management not to plough the field for growing tea plantation,” Jyotika Phukan, a Chabua-based journalist, told Northeast Now.
“It’s a place of tourism. Many tourists come from outside and visit this place. Local sentiments have been attached with the golf course,” said Phukan.
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The Upper Assam Golf Association (UAGA) recently passed a resolution expressing its deep anguish at the turn of events.
Sportspersons have also expressed their dissatisfaction at the decision of the Apeejay Tea management.
“They cannot do such act. They have not discussed the issue with the sports associations. Many tournaments have been organized in the golf course and in near future, more golf tournaments are likely to be organized in the golf course,” said a member the District Sports Association, Dibrugarh.
“But the management has taken the decision to plough the golf course for tea plantation. Already tractor has been used in the golf field,” he informed.
The Upper Assam Golf Association wrote a letter to Karan Paul, chairman of Apeejay Surrendra Group, requesting him to save the golf course.
They also requested the chairman to preserve the heritage golf field in the memory of late Surrendra Paul, father of the present chairman.
Chabua MLA Binod Hazarika informed the matter to Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Sonowal also reportedly ordered the Dibrugarh deputy commissioner to look into the matter.