The future of the India-England cricket match and the India-West Indies cricket series at the recently-renovated Feroz Shah Kotla stadium hangs in the balance.
Reason: the Delhi District and Cricket Association (DDCA) has locked horns with the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) over property tax dues amounting to more than R5 crore.
The DDCA, which does not have a completion certificate for the stadium, needs to get the ‘provisional occupancy certificate’ from the MCD to organise matches.
The civic body has, however, said that it will not give the certificate till the time the payment is made.
The DDCA had applied for the certificate in August to host the one-day international match (India and England) and five-day test match between India and West Indies to be held on October 17 and November 6 to 11 respectively.
According to the MCD, the DDCA owed MCD R46 lakh in 2004.
After the introduction of the unit area method for calculating property tax the same year, the dues from 2004 to 2011 rose to another R4.6 crore, which has not been paid yet.
Ravi Jain, spokesperson and general secretary, DDCA, said that the MCD should not club the games with the issue of house tax and that the matter of taxes was pending in court.
“It is a subjudice matter and we should not club matches, which are a source of national pride with house tax amounts. What has house tax got to do with permission to grant a place to host the matches?” Jain said.
This time, the civic body has agreed to grant provisional occupancy certificate on the condition that the cricketing body clears 50% of its property tax dues and submits an undertaking to apply for regular occupancy certificate within six months.
The Feroz Shah Kotla stadium has been under renovation since 2005 but to date the management has not taken the completion certificate citing “incompletion” of works which is why there has been such a long delay in the payment of taxes.
An MCD official said that as per the provisions, property tax cannot be charged from a property until regular occupancy certificate is issued.
BJP councillors are currently negotiating deals between the DDCA and MCD to sort out the issue, but so far no solution has been found.