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BMC backs down on marathon ads

mumbai Updated: Jan 15, 2017 00:50 IST
Sanjana Bhalerao
Sanjana Bhalerao
Hindustan Times
BMC

A young man warms up before the Mumbai Marathon, at Marine Drive.(Kunal Patil/HT)

A day after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) put the Mumbai Marathon in jeopardy by demanding Rs5.48 crore as a security deposit and advertisement fees, it accepted a request from the organisers to allow the marathon to be held on payment of Rs 22.9 lakh on Saturday, just a day before the event.

On Friday, the BMC had sent a notice to the organisers, Procam International, which stated that Rs 5.48 crore should be paid at the A-ward office within 24 hours of receiving the letter. If this wasn’t done, the notice stated, all advertisements displayed by means of boards, branding and lasers would be removed and legal action initiated without further notice.

While the BMC has given Procam International permission to organise the event every year, it is subject to the organisers paying for hoardings and other advertisements put up along the route from CST to Bandra.

In a written reply, Procam requested the BMC to give it permission for the event on payment of Rs 22.9 lakh – the sum it had paid in 2016 – and requested a meeting after Monday to discuss any additional charges. “There seems to be some misunderstanding regarding the advertisement charges levied on the Mumbai Marathon event. We are able to meet you after Monday, i.e. 16th of January, to discuss the matter,” read Procam’s letter.

A senior BMC official had said on Friday, “Earlier the charges were levied considering the social causes but with the event becoming highly commercialised, the new charges are as per our commercial rates.”

Kiran Dighavkar, assistant municipal commissioner of A-ward, had said, “We have no objection to the event taking place as we have already granted them permission. But if the advertisement charges are not paid before the event, we will take action under the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act and the Defacement of Property Act.”

The BMC, however, accepted the organisers’ request on Saturday. “We have accepted their request and allowed the event,” said Dighavakar.

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