Kochi: An RTI has revealed that the Public Works Department has not revised the rent of shops allotted at Maharaja’s College stadium in Kochi for the past 15 years and are still collecting just Rs 53 per square metre (below `5 per sq ft) which is very low as per current industry standards.
The rate fixed by the PWD in 2001 is Rs 53 per square metre. At present, the going rate would be in the range of Rs 200 to Rs 250 per square metre (Rs 40 per sq ft to Rs 50 sq ft) to hire a commercial space for business in Kochi city.
There are 17 shops in the stadium and of these 15 shops are rented out. The last time the rent was revised was in 2001. The RTI also revealed that two shop owners had defaulted on the rent and had dues of Rs 6 lakh. The annual revenue of the College through rent is Rs 12,09,012.
The RTI was accessed by Raju Vazhakala, a public activist based in Kochi. The activist sought a reply under the Right to Information Act. The RTI states that one shop owner is a defaulter from February 2014 and another from April 2013. The reply however refused to mention the name of the shop owners.
As per the RTI reply given by the Public Information Office, Maharaja’s College, Ernakulam, there are 13 rooms and four spaces at the pavilion of the Stadium under the control of the Maharaja’s College....