The civic body had asked the organisers to pay Rs 5 crore for its services, but has now settled for Rs 23 lakh.
Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has finally relented and has allowed organisers to go on with the Mumbai Marathon on Sunday. The civic body had earlier asked the organisers to pay Rs 5.48 crore for its services, but has now settled for Rs 23 lakh to give a go-ahead.
According to civic officials, event management firm M/s Procam International has disagreed with the whopping fees the BMC has charged. It had pleaded with the civic body to allow it to hold the event for the time being and hold discussions later on. The organisers, meanwhile, have agreed to pay the charges worth Rs 23 lakh, which are equivalent to last year’s fees.
On Friday, the BMC had asked the marathon organisers to pay Rs 5.48 crore within 24 hours, failing which they were likely to face action under 328/328A of Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act for defacing the city. The fee was levied for display of hoardings, brandings and laser show during the marathon.
Civic officials said the substantial rise in the BMC’s charges was largely due to the commercial rates it decided to charge from this year. Kiran Dighavkar, assistant commissioner of A ward, said, “When the marathon started 14 years back, the BMC had charged subsidised rates terming it a social cause. However, it has now turned into a commercial event. Furthermore, they use majority of municipal services to hold the event. Hence, we have decided to levy commercial rates from this year.”
Arvind Reddy, co-ordinator, M/s Procam International, refuted claims that marathon is a commercial event. “It is an event that belongs to the entire city. Apart from raising funds through charity, we also create public awareness about government’s social initiatives. We will try to bring this to the BMC’s notice in our talks.”
According to civic officials, a discussion between the BMC and marathon organisers is likely to be held next week.