The Himachal Pradesh government has sought withdrawal of arbitration proceedings against the Ministry of Defence (MoD) without foregoing its right to the ownership of the land. With this decision now Govt has given rest to the year long controversy over the Annandale ground, which prior Govt wanted to utilize as a Cricket ground and later multi sports complex.
122 bigha Annandale ground will remain under the control of the Army and it will continue to use it as before for strategic purposes of national security. However, the ownership will rest with the government.
The ground was on lease with the Army, but there was no renewal of lease since 1982 even though the state continued to accept the lease money till 2002. The issue reached a flash point after a campaign backed by the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association was launched for its transfer to the state for setting up a cricket stadium.
The previous government pursued the matter vigorously and ended up confronting the Army authorities. Then opposition Congress, CPM and thousands of locals had objected the move of BJP led Govt and blamed that Dhumal led Govt was promoting the interests of realtors.