The wedding season may be at its peak, but community halls in south Delhi have found very few takers.
Citizens, sources said, were not using the 74 corporation-run community halls after the south corporation’s decision to double the booking rates last year.
This has caused a major dip in the booking revenues of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation. The civic agency, now, has decided to bring down the booking rates by 40%.
“The decision to reduce rates was taken during the standing committee meeting on Monday. We will come with a final proposal in this regard during the next meeting. The committee is expected to slash the rates of all community halls by at least 30-40%,” said Shailendra Singh, standing committee chairman, SDMC.
As of now, the civic agency’s community halls are divided in five categories — A, B, C, D and E. For hiring a hall in category A, people have to pay Rs 42,500, which includes revised and hiked booking fee, security deposit and cleaning charges.
Earlier, the same hall could be booked for Rs 27,000. Similarly, for category B halls, the cost has increased to Rs 27,000 from Rs 16,500 earlier.
Community halls in other categories have also seen a jump in its booking prices. Booking a category C costs Rs 22,000, up from Rs 11,000, category D halls cost Rs 13,500, up from the earlier rate of Rs 6,000 and category E halls cost Rs 8,500, up from Rs 2,300.
According to officials, as soon as the booking rates were doubled by south corporation in July last year, residents had criticised the move. Residents claimed that the rise in prices was unjustified and inappropriate in terms of the services provided at the community halls.
“Majority of the community centres are in an awful state and lack basic infrastructure. They have no staff to guard the place and infrastructure facilities like water, electricity are missing,” said NK Malik, resident of Malviya Nagar.
To sort out the problem, the south corporation has issued a tender last week inviting companies to submit proposals for sanitation and security of community halls. “The concessionaire will be responsible for maintenance and look after these places. They will also deploy guards and serve the requirement of visitors,” said a senior SDMC official.