High Rents Hold Up Anna’s Fast


 

Mumbai: Team Anna Monday got a shock over the high rentals demanded by the Maharashtra government for hiring out the MMRDA Grounds in central Mumbai for Anna Hazare’s agitation, an activist said.

”The authorities are demanding a rent of Rs.200,000 per day for one of the four grounds which we wanted to hire for Anna Hazare’s fast, if it is held in Mumbai,” Mayank Gandhi, a Team Anna core committee member, told IANS.

Gandhi said that they would write to Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and appeal to him to make the rental charges more reasonable.

”If that is not possible, then we shall consider other options like the Kamgar Maidan, Parel, in south central Mumbai. We shall examine that venue tomorrow where the rates are lower, between Rs.25,000-Rs.40,000 per day,” he said.

As per present indications, Team Anna wanted to hire the MMRDA Ground, centrally located in the Bandra-Kurla Complex, a recently-developed upmarket locality, for at least five days.

This would mean an expense of at least one million rupees, plus other expenses for the marquee, audio systems, lighting, chairs and other requirements.

Earlier, Team Anna had been refused the Azad Maidan ground on account of certain restrictions, while the Somaiya Grounds in Ghatkopar in the eastern suburbs is not available, while other venues are prohibitively expensive.

Team Anna members have said that Hazare would shift the venue of his proposed hunger strike – starting Dec 27 – from New Delhi to Mumbai in view of the harsh winter in the capital.

Gandhi said that the organizers plan to hire any available venue for only five days since Hazare has announced a jail-bharo agitation from Jan 1 onwards.

In case all options fail, they would appeal to their supporters and donors to give financial help for the programme and finalise it accordingly, he said.



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