Barring any inadvertent changes to the planned fast of noted social activist Anna Hazare, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) grounds in Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) will be the designated venue for the three-day fast.
NGO Jagrut Nagrik Manch, who is associated with India Against Corruption (IAC), on behalf of Team Anna, had applied for permission from MMRDA that duly granted them the consent yesterday.
Confirming the same, MMRDA Commissioner Rahul Asthana said, "We have leased 20,000 sq ft space to an NGO for five days, from December 26 to 30. The first and the last day will be used for erecting and dismantling the pandal, while the main programme will be held for three days from December 27 to December 29."
According to particulars of the agreement, the NGO will pay MMRDA a rent of Rs 11,31,678 for five days, in addition to the refundable security deposit of Rs 7,69,500. This means team Anna will pay Rs 3.80 lakh per day for five days. It's worth noting that a few days back IAC appealed to Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan to waive or reduce the rent charges at MMRDA. However, no decision was taken and MMRDA is charging commercial rates for its grounds.
Sources in MMRDA informed that earlier they were going to rent out the grounds to the NGO at Rs 6.80 per square metre, but now they will have to pay the commercial rate of Rs 10.80 per square metre. "In order to receive the ground at subsidised rates, the NGO has to submit certain documents that were not received, hence we are charging them a commercial rate," said an MMRDA official on condition of anonymity.
"We have asked them to make the payment through a demand draft and they have assured us that they will pay the amount soon," said an MMRDA official.
With the venue confirmed, Team Anna will now have to secure permissions from Bandra Kurla Complex police station, Chief Fire Officer's department and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
Meanwhile, MMRDA in a letter drafted to the NGO has clearly mentioned that if the allottee cancels the event, or reduces the allotted area or changes date and reduces the period of allotted area of the event, 25 per cent advance payment will be forfeited.
The plot rented and reserved for parking at the BKC