Kanjikhowa Golf Course located at Kharjan Tea Estate in upper Assam’s Dibrugarh district has been reporting serious law and order issues for the last few years.
Over the years, sports activities have dwindled and the lack of oversight from upper Assam Golf Association and the Panitola Sports Club have given an opportunity to the miscreants to encroach upon the property.
“The golf course has become a hub for all sorts of anti-social activities as it is directly connected with the highway,” said Kharjan TE Manager Sabikuddin Ahmed.
Ahmed said the youths who are misusing the course, have, in the past threatened Kharjan Estate executives, chased away the chowkidars, vandalised the Club house, burnt furniture, damaged OG office and stone pelted the Kharjan Asst. Managers bungalow terrorising our executives and the estate team.
“The sporadic golfing activity has also stopped with none taking place in the last year,” he said.
The biggest threat that the estate faces is encroachment which all the association members are aware of, yet, no positive response or action has been initiated from the Association or member golfers, as of now.
The estate management has witnessed the rise in illegal activities on the land and after due deliberation has decided to take some action to protect the area by bringing it into tea cultivation which benefits the local stakeholders.
Sabikuddin Ahmed, who is also treasurer of the Panitola Sports Club, had discussed these issues with some of the members personally, yet, appeals had fallen on deaf ears.
“In the past, to save the estate’s land from encroachment, we spent significant amount of money to dig a periphery drain to mark the Estate boundary from further encroachment,” Ahmed said.
To our dismay, no fruitful support has come then and none has come now – the sad state of affairs continues and worsen, he said.
With the Golfers or the Club making no financial or manpower provisions for the golf course, it is becoming increasingly difficult for Kharjan Tea Estate alone to manage it.
Historically maintenance expenditure was mainly borne by Kharjan Tea Estate, with small contributions viz. HSD for Jungle Jim, painting of club house (for one tournament) have come in but even these token measures has simply disappeared in the last few years.
Since the golf course is on Kharjan’s land, its management has been maintaining it all these decades but it is impossible to maintain it as a golf course without the concerned sports bodies involvement and engagement.