NMC buckles, lowers rent of Kavi Suresh Bhat Hall

Nagpur: Buckling under the public pressure, the Standing Committee of Nagpur Municipal Corporation has lowered the rent of recently dedicated Kavivarya Suresh Bhat Auditorium for non-commercial events. Now, the auditorium will be provided at the rate of Rs 5,000 as suggested by the Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari.

Going against the suggestions of Nitin Gadkari to allot Kavivarya Suresh Bhat Cultural Hall at nominal rates to various organisations, NMC administration had suggested to fix rent of hall between Rs 24,800/- and a whopping Rs 60,000/- including Goods and Services Tax (GST) for three hours. Besides, the local body had proposed security deposit of Rs 50,000/- for renting out the hall. A committee chaired by Ashwin Mudgal, Municipal Commissioner, had proposed the rates after comparing those with other cultural halls in New Delhi, Pune, and Mumbai.

However, the NMC faced severe criticism from all quarters over the proposed fixation of rent on very higher side. Following the outcry, NMC Standing Committee, in its meeting held on Friday, took cognisance of widespread criticism from various cultural organisations and artists and effected a downward revision in the rates suggested by Mudgal Committee.

As per the revision, minimum of Rs 5,000/- will be charged for the hall with 1,300 seats and maximum of Rs 15,000/- for the hall with 1,988 seats and balcony. The security deposit will be in the range of Rs 15,000/- and Rs 25,000/-. However, the category to which these rates will be applicable includes experimental drama, classical singing/dance, children’s play, local amateur play; cultural programmes of completely aided Government pre-primary/primary, secondary schools (not applicable to private schools), body-building competition, poets’ meet, farmers training programme and workshop, non-commercial cultural events organised by Natya Parishad, Sahitya Sangh, and charitable trusts.

However, the hall for the programmes in this category will not be available on Sundays or public holidays. Besides, the charges will be one-and-a-half times of that mentioned above for the sessions between 4.30 pm and 7.30 pm, and 8.30 pm and 11.30 pm on Saturdays. The rates for commercial plays, programmes of classical singing/dance, orchestra, magic shows, poets’ meet, cultural programmes, talk shows, mono-act plays, political conventions except those organised during election period, spiritual discourses, cultural and public awareness programmes organised by Government/semi-Government/Government undertakings will be in the range of Rs 25,000/- (for 1,300 seats) to Rs 40,000/- (for 1,988 seats with balcony). The security deposit will be Rs 50,000/-. Municipal Commissioner has been empowered to take decision on relaxing the charges for programmes organised by Government/semi-Government/Government undertakings, considering the nature of the programmes. If the organisers in this category book the hall for full day, NMC will offer 20 per cent discount on the charges applicable for four sessions.

The booking of the hall for professional conferences/workshops or conventions, fashion show, convocation ceremony, programmes of private educational institutions and universities, events of newspaper groups and other business organisations will be an expensive affair. NMC will charge minimum Rs 40,000/- (for 1,300 seats) and maximum Rs 75,000/- (1,988 seats with balcony) to them. The organisers in this category will have to pay Rs 1,00,000/- as deposit that will be refundable. If the organisers in this category book the hall for full day, NMC will offer 20 per cent discount on the charges applicable for four sessions.

The open space available on the eastern side of the hall will be rented out for cultural/literary or other exhibitions between 10 am and 8.30 pm daily for Rs 30,000/-. A security deposit of Rs 25,000/- will be levied for 600 sq mtr of the open space.

The organisers of such events will have to erect own pandal without digging the ground, and also get temporary electricity meter from Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited or put to use a diesel generator.

The rates have been fixed for a period of one year. The rates do not include Goods and Services Tax. The local organisations may avail of ‘one-time security deposit scheme’, but such an amount should not be less than Rs 1,00,000/- and NMC will not pay any interest to them. Such organisations will not get any priority in booking of the hall or any relaxation in payment of regular charges.