BMC asks marathon organisers to pay Rs 2.74 crore

Organisers say event is for a social cause, no need to pay Mumbai civic body.

Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has reduced the charges it has levied for the Mumbai International Marathon from Rs 5.48 crore to Rs 2.74 crore. The marathon’s organisers, however, have nonetheless refused to pay the amount, maintaining their stand that it is a charity event.

Claiming that the marathon is a commercial event, the civic body had earlier asked event management firm M/s Procam International to shell out Rs 5.48 crore for municipal taxes and service charges. But in a hearing held with the marathon’s organisers last week, the BMC finally asked them to pay revised charges of Rs 2.74 crore.

A senior civic official said, “We asked the organisers to pay charges of Rs 2.74 crore, excluding the security deposit. But they still refused to pay the amount, saying that it is a charity as well as social event.”

Kiran Dighavkar, the municipal commissioner of A ward, said that the BMC has asked the marathon’s organisers to furnish evidence of the event being of a social nature.

“We have given them a fortnight to provide these details during the next hearing,” said the official.

Speaking on the issue, Arvind Reddy, coordinator, M/s Procam International, said, “We will give our explanation, including all the facts and figures to show that it’s a charity event, which is held for a social cause.

The marathon has built up a sporting culture in the city and it needs to be supported by the BMC. We will request the civic officials to be considerate.”

Just before the marathon, which was held in the city on January 15, the BMC had asked the organisers to pay Rs 5.48 crore within 24 hours, threatening to take action under 328/328A of MMC Act for defacing the city if the organisers failed to pay the amount.

The fee was levied for display of advertisements by means of hoardings, branding and shows during the marathon.

The substantial rise in the BMC’s charges was largely due to the commercial rates it decided to charge from this year onwards, said civic officials.

The civic body later relented, however, and allowed the organisers to go ahead with the marathon after paying charges of Rs 22.9 lakh, which was equivalent to last year’s fees.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
Next Story