State government grants new lease of life for MSSA
The Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA) can finally breathe a sigh of relief after the state government agreed to rescind their decision to cancel a 30-year lease which they had agreed with the school sports body in 2008.
The move will allow the school body to conduct various sporting activities at the Azad Maidan premises for at least three more years.
MiD DAY had reported on September 21 how the Maharashtra government had cancelled the 30-year lease of their premises, which includes a playground and an office facility, as MSSA had not signed an agreement with the state authorities when the late chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh granted the lease to them in 2008.
However, in a government resolution (GR) dated December 6, the State declared its intent to give back the land at Azad Maidan for sports use.
A relieved MSSA President Fr Jude Rodrigues, who convinced Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan to rescind the order, told MiD DAY, “This is a very big step forward for all of us at MSSA.
The decision has come at the right time. For now, the lease has been revoked for three years. After completion of three years, the lease will be automatically extended for 30 years.
We can now get the renovation work started in the lawn tennis area and the basketball arena. By next season, the premises will have a whole new look.”
Fr Rodrigues also added that MSSA has approached the government to grant them necessary permissions to lay an astrograss surface. “It is our dream to have an astrograss football turf for the kids.
Due to this lease issue, that project had to be postponed. With the government decision happening in our favour, we can work towards making our dream a reality,” he said on the sidelines of the MSSA inter-school Athletic Championships at the Goregaon Sports Club yesterday.