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Saturday, Dec 07, 2019

Thane civic body’s fee hike plan upsets sportspersons

The civic body has increased the rates for using pitches at Dadoji Konddev Stadium for practice — it used to charge Rs 30,000 for one batch which has been increased to Rs 80,000 a batch.

mumbai Updated: Nov 17, 2019 05:43 IST
Megha Pol
Megha Pol
Hindustan Times, Thane
TMC has proposed to increase by 15% monthly and annual fees to use its sports facilities such as playgrounds, pitches, stadiums, clubs and other sports equipment.
TMC has proposed to increase by 15% monthly and annual fees to use its sports facilities such as playgrounds, pitches, stadiums, clubs and other sports equipment.(Twitter/ @TMCaTweetAway Photo)
         

Thane Municipal Corporation had promised to provide world-class sports facilities to nurture more international-level sportspersons. But, its recent move to increase charges for using sports facilities in playgrounds and stadiums has irked sportspersons.

Those in sports said this will only deter them from using facilities. TMC has proposed to increase by 15% monthly and annual fees to use its sports facilities such as playgrounds, pitches, stadiums, clubs and other sports equipment. The new rates, if approved by the general body, will be applicable to all properties such as Dadoji Konddev Stadium, Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad stadium, Shree Sharadchandraji Pawar mini sports complex, Shahid Hemant Karkare mini sports complex and Bharat Ratna Sachin Tendulkar mini sports complex.

The civic body has increased the rates for using pitches at Dadoji Konddev Stadium for practice — it used to charge Rs 30,000 for one batch which has been increased to Rs 80,000 a batch.

An officer from sports department said, “We have increased charges by 15% rates to use our sports facilities across the city. Apart from cricket, charges have increased to other sports such as badminton, table tennis, billiards, bridge, chess, squash and carom among others. There was a huge different between expenses earned and incurred on the sports facilities. We spent much more on its maintenance than the revenue. So, we decided to increase the rates.”

The proposed rates will be tabled in the general body meeting to be held next week. The officer added, “We had finalised the charges in 2015, however there was no increase. Last year, we spent Rs 3.5 crore to renovate Dadoji Konddev Stadium as per the Mumbai Cricket Association Standard, thus it is also important to maintain the standard. Many commercial, educational, cultural and social organisations rent the sports facilities and the new rates will be applicable after the general body approves them.”

Spotspersons said the increase is more than 15% as the actual figures in the proposal show an increase of 30 to 40% in the charges. The sports faculty has claimed that the exorbitant increase in charges will not be affordable for most coaches or institutes. “The fee for the pitch is Rs 80,000 for merely 20 players at a time. The hikes rates will lead to more loss than profit for TMC as not many can afford them. Though TMC claims that Dadoji Konddev ground will host Ranji matches, there is no sign from the MCA. Moreover, as TMC has only renovated Dadoji Konddev Stadium, there was no need to increase charges of all the sports complexes.”