For the first time since the inception of the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, the municipal corporation has refused to provide any free services for the event, which will be held on January 16 this year.
Besides charging the organisers for using the public space, putting up hoardings and the laser show, this year the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will also charge them for cleaning the route a day before the event.
Officials said the BMC would get more than 200 contract labourers to clean the roads on Saturday, but this year, the organisers will have to pay them.
“Until last year we were not charging them for pressing more staff into service and sweeping the roads a day before the event. But this year, we are determined not to give any services for free,” said MM Adtani, additional municipal commissioner.
This year, as the HT had reported last week, the corporation will also not beautify the marathon route, paint the medians, footpaths and mark signages.
Last week, the BMC had granted the marathon a no-objection certificate after asking the organisers to pay Rs. 15 lakh deposit, Rs. 6 lakh advertising fee, Rs. 70,000 as user fees, Rs. 79,000 for the laser show and Rs. 49,000 as charges for conservancy staff.
“If the organisers don’t clean the mess after the event, our staff will do it and we will deduct the cost from the deposit,” said a senior civic official, on condition of anonymity.
The BMC has changed its mind over providing free services because the event management firm, Procam, owes it Rs. 1.8 crore, which the corporation claimed it spent on painting and resurfacing roads, and licence fees for hoardings.
Officials said the BMC has asked the organisers to furnish the accounts of the 2008 marathon and if it is found that the event is charitable after an audit, the BMC might consider waiving of their dues.
The issue of non-payment of dues came to fore in 2008 after the BMC realised that the organisers had used the roads and erected tents at Azad Maidan without paying a fees since 2004.
The organisers had said they would not pay the amount because it was the BMC’s job.