A Parliamentary panel today slammed the armed forces for "gross misuse" of golf courses under them and asked the Defence Ministry to hold an inquiry into the prohibited activities on defence land and take steps to check misuse.
In its report tabled in Lok Sabha, the Public Accounts Committee observed that golf cannot be considered a military activity and expressed shock over the fact that these golf clubs were giving memberships even to foreign diplomats in places such as Delhi.
In its report on Defence Estates, the Committee observed that clubs and parks meant for defence personnel were being exploited by civilians for parties and marriages and their proceeds were not being credited to the Government account.
"The Committee deplore the gross misuse of golf courses and recommend that entire policy of golf courses be revisited and remedial action be taken to ensure that facilities for armed forces personnel are not abused in any manner," the PAC says.
It asked the Defence Ministry to provide a status paper about golf courses and environmental parks used by the military, the nature of membership and revenue generated annually and the accounts where they are credited.
Golf is a popular activity among officers of armed forces and more than 90 golf courses have been established across the country in the last few decades.
On the misuse of the defence land for parks and clubs, the Committee asked the "Defence Ministry to set up an inquiry in the matter so that all encroachments and prohibited activities are detected and remedial action is taken to prevent misuse of defence parks and lands."
The Committee expressed surprise over an Army Chief's decision in 2004 to declare golf as a sports activity and naming golf courses as Army Environmental Park and Training Area.
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