Maha to review permissions to 87 recreation clubs in Mumbai | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Maha to review permissions to 87 recreation clubs in Mumbai

mumbai Updated: Jul 26, 2013 09:11 IST
Surendra P Gangan

The recreation clubs in Mumbai — many of which are run by politicians and are often accused of denying citizens access to open spaces — are under the scanner.

The government said on Thursday it would review permissions given to 87 clubs in the city built on its land, and action would be taken against them if irregularities are found.

The announcement came during the discussion in the assembly over the alleged irregularities committed by Mumbai Cricket Association on a Kandivli plot, which was allotted by BMC for a cricket academy.

The Shiv Sena has been staging agitations against the club.

To defuse the attack, the ruling combine raised the issue of irregularities in clubs under the control of Sena leaders.

NCP legislators took a dig at Sena brass by reminding them of the commercial activities and prohibitive membership fee charged at Matoshree club in Goregaon.

Minister of state for urban development Uday Samant then told the house that the government would review permissions given to all the clubs in city.

The land grab by politicians across party lines under the guise of developing the plots for sports activities have always been under the lens.

These clubs, most of which are constructed on plots reserved for playgrounds, have become the centre of the commercial activities — the space is rented for non-sport activities like weddings and parties.

The issue was raised when the BMC came up with a controversial ‘adoption policy’ to give open spaces to NGOs or outfits run by politicians.

The state government had stayed the scheme a few years ago.

Samant, however, clarified that permission given to MCA was in compliance with norms.

Sena members had alleged that MCA was minting money by selling membership for as much as Rs10 lakh.

Ramdas Kadam alleged the permission was granted in a day when BMC commissioner Sitaram Kunte was additional commissioner in 2005.

He questioned why then the proposal of a theme park at Mahalaxmi race course was delayed by Kunte.

He also alleged that nearly 24% of the construction is illegal.