Lease of 11 gymkhanas in city lapsed 10 years ago | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Lease of 11 gymkhanas in city lapsed 10 years ago

Revenue minister Balasaheb Thorat met representatives from all gymkhanas in the city and suburbs on Tuesday on the issue of the leases of some of them that have expired 10 years ago.

mumbai Updated: Feb 23, 2011 01:23 IST
Sayli Udas Mankikar

Revenue minister Balasaheb Thorat met representatives from all gymkhanas in the city and suburbs on Tuesday on the issue of the leases of some of them that have expired 10 years ago.

Of the 18 gymkhanas, the lease agreements of 11 have expired more than a decade ago, while others continue to pay the old lease amount that ranges from Rs 19 to more than a lakh for prime spaces in Mumbai.

"The representatives met me and explained their worry about the expired lease. I have decided to give the policy a re-look. The new policy will have to be put before the cabinet," Thorat said.

In 2003, the government had brought out a resolution to hike the rates, which was challenged in the court. In 2007, the state government had framed a policy that set up parameters to charge lease rates according to location, land area and number of members.

It also said adjoining open spaces and grounds would have to be kept open to non-members for a fixed period of time.

But, that policy never saw the light of day.

Citizens are clear that the state should now come up with a pro-people policy.

"Most gymkhanas have become money-spinners. They hardly keep the space open for outsiders. It's time the government took the land back," said chairperson H-West Citizens Trust Anandini Thakoor who fought tooth and nail against the Khar Gymkhana over the same issue.

Gymkhana officials feel otherwise.

"There has to be a mutually agreeable policy," said Hanif, manager Islam Gymkhana.

"We have come together for a permanent solution to the lease problem. We've allowed people to use the space outside the gymkhana," said a representative of PG Hindu Gymkhana at Marine Drive.