Bowing down to pressure from activists and opposition parties over the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) granting 75 per cent rent waiver to Global Citizen organiser of British
Bowing down to pressure from activists and opposition parties over the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) granting 75 per cent rent waiver to Global Citizen organiser of British rock band Coldplay, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has cancelled granting any such rent waiver to the organisers of the concert.
“I have finally decided that no rent waiver will be given. Only security deposit will be waived. So, they will be paying rent now,” the chief minister told The Asian Age.
Mr Fadnavis, who is also the chairman of MMRDA, had on October 20 decided to give 75 per cent concession on rent for the venue at MMRDA grounds at Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), where Global Citizen will organise the Coldplay concert on November 19, citing to support the social awareness campaign promoted by the organisers.
A senior MMRDA official said that security deposit is 75 per cent of the total cost of the rent amount, which is refundable. “If no rent waiver is given, the organisers would have to pay the full amount for using around 1.50-lakh square metres of MMRDA grounds,” he said.
The development means that the organisers would now have to pay the whole rent which is `8 crore instead of `2 crore. According to the MMRDA, it charges rent of `8 per sq m for a single day of any programme that’s scheduled. In addition, it charges `4.5 per sq m for each day that the organiser uses the ground to prepare for the event, which includes setting the stage and erecting or dismantling the stage before and after the programme.
The issue of giving rent waiver had become a controversy with the opposition parties saying that rent waiver was waste of public money and that the timing of the music concert was to influence voters ahead of the upcoming civic polls.
Congress city president Sanjay Nirupam on Thursday complained to the state election commissioner that as the concert was being organised in partnership with the state government, it should be postponed because the local body elections’ code of conduct has “already commenced”.
The organisers on Friday had issued a statement saying that it was disappointing to their efforts to create long-term change and work towards eradicating extreme poverty being caught in the middle of politics “as usual”.
However, the controversy might not end here as the state Cabinet’s committee had this week decided to give concession in the entertainment tax, which also being challenged by the activists.
Speaking to The Asian Age, the spokesperson of Global Citizen said, “We are in a continuous dialogue with the state on various issues. We anticipate full support and cooperation as we embark on this important journey.”