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BMC’s Rs5.48-crore advt bill puts Mumbai Marathon in jeopardy

The A-ward office of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) issued a notice to the organisers of the Mumbai Marathon on Friday, asking them to pay Rs 5.48 crore in pending advertisement charges. The marathon is scheduled for Sunday.

mumbai Updated: Jan 14, 2017 00:30 IST
People prepare for the Mumbai Marathon at Marine Drive.
People prepare for the Mumbai Marathon at Marine Drive. (Kunal Patil/HT)

The A-ward office of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) issued a notice to the organisers of the Mumbai Marathon on Friday, asking them to pay Rs 5.48 crore in pending advertisement charges. The marathon is scheduled for Sunday.

The BMC’s notice states that the security deposit and advertisement fee amounts to Rs 5.48 crore and should be paid at the A-ward office within 24 hours of receiving the letter. If this isn’t done, the notice states, all advertisements displayed by means of boards, branding and laser shows will be removed and legal action will be initiated without further notice. This could affect the infrastructure put in place by the organisers.

While the BMC has granted the organisers, Procam International, permission to organise the annual event, 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 to the civic body, Procam stated that the BMC’s charges were exorbitant. They wrote that the total sum paid to the BMC for last year’s marathon was Rs22.9 lakh and asked that they be allowed to conduct the event on Sunday with the hoardings and other advertisements in place, as in the past.

A senior BMC official said, “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, 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.”

A statement released by Procam International read, “The BMC is an integral part of the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon journey, since inception. Without their unstinting support, an event of this magnitude would not have been successful 13 years ago and even today. We are thankful to them for their co-operation and we are working closely with the BMC department to address this matter.”

All road will lead to marathon on Sunday

The Full Marathon for amateurs will be flagged off from outside Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) at 5.40am followed by the Full Marathon for Indian and foreign athletes at 7.20 am. Both the races will finish at CST

The Half Marathon will be flagged off at 5.40 am from Worli Dairy, then go on to the Sea Link, and trace the same route back. It will end opposite CST.

The Champions with Disability run will begin at 7.35am from CST and finish near Gate No. 3 of Azad Maidan, opposite Metro Adlabs. The Senior Citizens Run will start at 8am while the Dream Run will begin at 9am from the same locations

The competitive event for the city’s police, the Police Cup, will be flagged off at 5.40 am from Worli Dairy along with Half Marathon. The Police Cup will have 40 teams; each team comprises two members, who will run approximately 10.5 km each.

42,000 marathon runners pull their socks up to fight the chill

More than 42,000 people will brave the early morning chill to take part in the 14th edition of Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon (SCMM) on Sunday.

The marathon will have 42,379 participants at the start-line, around 2,000 more than the last year. As many as 6,342 runners have registered for Full Marathon, a jump of 1,000 compared to last year. The Half Marathon and Dream Run will see 14,663 and 19,980 participants.

In other categories, Senior Citizen Run has 921 entries while Champions with Disability has 433 entries. Forty teams have registered for the Police Cup.

The oldest athlete in this year’s edition is a 103-year-old man from Malegaon. This is the debut run for the elderly, Dagadu Bhamre.

“Since I live in a village, I tend to walk for hours every day,” Bhamre said, adding, “No special practice or precaution needs to be taken for the marathon. It will be like my normal walk, except that thousands of people will also participate in the event.”

Bhamre lives near Malegaon and has come to stay at his son-in-law’s house in Vikhroli for the marathon.

For the convenience of Half Marathon participants, there will be a shuttle service from Currey Road station and Lower Parel. These buses, free for all participants wearing valid bibs, will operate from 3.30 am to 5am on Sunday.

Marathon in numbers:

42,379: The total number of participants for marathon in 2017

40,245: The total number of participants for marathon in 2016

Various categories

Full Marathon:

6,342: The total number of athletes in 2017

5,190: The total number of athletes in 2016

Half Marathon:

14,663: The total number of runners in 2017

14,431: The Total number of runners in 2016

Dream Run:

19,980: The total number of participants in 2017

18,934: The total number of participants in 2016

Senior Citizens:

921: The total number of the elderly in 2017

899: The total number of the elderly in 2016

Champions with Disability

433: The total number of differently-abled people in 2017

363: The total number of differently-abled people in 2016

Central Railway to run two special trains

After the Western railway’s (WR) initiative to start two special trains, the Central railway (CR) has decided to ply as many trains on its main and harbour lines for Mumbai marathon participants early on Sunday morning. The first train will depart from Kalyan at 3am on the main line, while the second service will originate from Panvel at 3.10am, according to a CR release. The trains will halt at all stations and reach CST at 4.30am. Two CST-bound services —from Kalyan at 4.41am and Vashi at 4am — will not run on Sunday, a CR press release said. The WR had announced to run two special services between Virar and Churchgate stations for marathon participants.