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HindustanTimes Mon,21 Apr 2014

Civic Centre in midst of tussle, south body told to cough up rent

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, January 10, 2013
First Published: 23:36 IST(10/1/2013) | Last Updated: 01:34 IST(11/1/2013)

The split of the unified MCD in April last year has led to cracks in the relationship between North Corporation and South Corporation, with each claiming their right over the 28-storey Civic Centre located on Minto Road.

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Even though the BJP rules all the three municipal corporations in Delhi, the North Corporation has asked the South Corporation to pay a rent of Rs. 62 crore for using the premises to house its office for the past few months .

On Thursday, the South Corporation refused to pay up, stating that the North Corporation does not have any right to charge rent since the building was built by the unified MCD.

"At the time of trifurcation, the South Corporation was told to use the premises of the Civic Centre till the time it could build its head office. No one mentioned rent at that time," Subhash Arya , Leader of the House of South Corporation, said.

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The first time that the issue of rent came up was at a recently-held standing committee budget meet of the North Corporation, where chairman Yogender Chandolia made a demand of Rs. 62 crore for the past nine months.

Sources, however, said the real reason behind the fight is the Rs. 600 crore that the Civic Centre will receive from the income tax department, which had taken a portion of the building on lease.

The South Corporation wants a share of the money, whereas the North body wants to pocket the entire amount.

Recently, the South Corporation had approached the Delhi government to help them get the money, much to the annoyance of the North Corporation, which is trying to get back at them by demanding the rent.

"At the time of trifurcation, it was decided whatever properties are located within the jurisdiction of the municipal body would be its property. Since the Civic Centre is located within the jurisdiction of the North Corporation, we have a right to collect money for it. For the past nine months, we have been paying for its maintenance," Chandolia said on Thursday.

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