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Pay Rs. 120 crore fine or vacate Wankhede stadium: State Govt to MCA

MCA CEO, CS Naik, however, said he was not aware of the notice and refused to comment.

Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai in the IPL
Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) was faced with the danger of losing the city’s iconic Wankhede Stadium. That, thanks to a number of disputes with the Maharashtra government that include lease renewal, uncleared dues and alleged unlawful alterations on the plot that houses the stadium as well as the headquarters of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

According to a report, a notice has been served by Mumbai City Collector Shivaji Jondhale on April 16 as they sought Rs 120 crore from the MCA towards. Towards unpaid dues and renewal, failing which the body has to withdraw from the premises. The iconic stadium was built in 1975 by cricket administrator and politician SK Wankhede who had decided that the MCA must have its own venue following regular tussles with the Cricket Club of India that owns the older Brabourne Stadium.

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Lease ended in February 2018

The stadium, which has a capacity to accommodate 33,000 people, is spread over almost 44,000 square metres. The plot was leased to the MCA by the state government for a period of 50 years that ended in February 2018.

As per the report in Mumbai Mirror, the lease agreement says that the MCA has to pay the government a monthly rent of Re 1 per square yard for the built-up area and 10 paisa per square for the remaining area. The government further claimed that the rent amount changed after the MCA set up a building on the plot — Cricket Centre — which now houses the BCCI’s headquarters. The collector’s notice has also sought that the association furnish permissions for every single alteration and construction 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,” the Mirror quoted Jondhale as saying.

MCA CEO, CS Naik, however, said he was not aware of the notice and refused to comment.

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