The Mumbai Cricket Association is on the verge of losing its pride as the Wankhede Stadium is overflowing in issues with the state government including cases like lease renewal, unpaid dues and illegal alterations. Shivaji Jondhale, the Mumbai City Collector has demanded a sum of 120 crore rupees from the MCA on behalf of the state government due to its unpaid dues and lease renewal or hand over the stadium to the Mumbai City Collector.
When the stadium was built in 1975 by SK Wankhede who decided that MCA must have its own stadium and leased the plot for 50 years by the state government. The tenure got over last year in the month of February and Jondhale now wants the lease to be renewed.
The lease agreement states that MCA will pay the state government a monthly rent of Re 1 per square yard for the built-up area and 10 paise per square yard for the remaining area. But the state government has claimed that the rent amount will be changed after the MCA constructed a building on the plot.
“The MCA has written to the chief minister seeking lease renewal and we have replied saying the association must pay according to the market rate. We are also checking whether the BCCI headquarters on the premises had all permissions,” Jondhale told Mumbai Mirror.
MCA’s CEO, CS Naik said he was unaware of the collector’s notice. He did not respond after the notice was sent to him. The architect who designed the Wankhede stadium told Mumbai Mirror that, “zero scope for any illegality” on the plot. “Every permission was in place before the stadium was renovated ahead of the 2011 ICC World Cup, whose final was held in Mumbai. The BCCI headquarters are connected to cricket.”
IPS officer-turned-activist YP Singh who’s been raising the issues of alleged illegalities by the MCA has claimed that the association showed access for fire tenders from the university ground, he told the Mumbai Mirror that, ” no such means of access actually existed.”
“The BCCI headquarters are placed in a building shown indoor cricket academy so that the plans should be passed. There are serious deficiencies of parking and there is no place for fire tender to move around the stadium,” Singh alleged. A site inspection is soon to take place and the MCA office-bearers have been summoned on 3rd May to discuss lease renewal.