Ktk not to allot sites to cricketers, offers Rs 25 lakh

Bangalore: The Karnataka government on Thursday countermanded its decision of allotting posh residential sites to the members of the World Cup winning Indian cricket team, citing legal hurdles.

The government, which faced criticism for the offer, has now decided to award Rs 25 lakh each to the players.

Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa said the government could not allot the sites but would present them the cash at a felicitation function, which be held soon.

The government`s U-turn comes days after it announced allotment of 4,000 square feet of residential plot to each of the player in the Mahendra Singh Dhoni led team, which won the trophy after 28 years.

Speaking at a function here, Yeddyurappa said legal hurdles did not permit allotment of sites to the team members.

Soon after Dhoni`s men lifted the trophy on April 2, Yeddyurappa had announced that the government would allot 50 x 80 feet sites to them.

The announcement drew criticism, among others, from the family of Commonwealth Games gold medal winner athlete Ashwini Akkunji, who also was made a similar promise but was never fulfilled.

There was also criticism over legality of allotment, with some arguing that the government could allot sites only to local persons who excelled in national or international sporting events under the sports quota and not to outsiders, as per the rules of Bangalore Development Authority.

The High Court had also given a ruling few months ago that the government had no power to allot sites under "G" category. (Discretionary quota).