Bandra theatre revamp: Lack of coordination cost BMC Rs. 21 cr

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Nov 19, 2014 22:01 IST

Thanks to the lack of coordination between the authorities, the Bal Gandharva open theatre in Bandra (West), which has been under construction for the past 22 years, has cost the civic body around Rs 21 crore.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) leased the plot for 30 years in 1992, to build the auditorium and make it available to the civic body for 20 days a year.

The civic body planned to generate revenue by renting the 800-seat auditorium for 20 days. The theatre was to start functioning from 1995.

In 1993, the upgradation work was handed over to a private foundation. Till 2012, several amendments were made to the original plan of building a ground plus two structure.

While the foundation is building a six-storey structure, the BMC is collecting lease according to the original plan, which is Rs 3.65 lakh an annum. Reason: The building proposal (BP) department amended the original plan without a no-objection certificate from the estate department.

Last year, after complaints from locals, the BMC assured to seek the revenue loss, but there has been no progress.

The issue was raised in the standing committee meeting on Wednesday by Congress corporator Asif Zakaria. “The foundation has bypassed the estate department’s permission to evade the one-time premium charge for additional construction. According to the lease agreement, the BMC has not cancelled the agreement, even after a 20-year delay.”

SVR Srinivas, additional municipal commissioner, said, “Action will be taken within 15 days.”

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