City residents will soon be able use Chennai Corporation’s community halls, free of cost.

The civic body is planning to waive rental charges for all of its 52 halls spread across the city.

According to an announcement by Mayor Saidai S. Duraisamy on Tuesday, in the wake of the Corporation council’s completing one year in office, residents will soon be permitted free use of the halls after approval is given by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa. The measure is likely to come into effect from February 24, 2013.

This will be of help to a large number of middle class and the low-income residents who depend on such facilities for functions ranging from wedding ceremonies and birthday celebrations.

The existing rates for the halls range from Rs. 350 to Rs.15,000 per day, depending on their location.

Community halls are in areas including CIT Nagar, Velachery, T. Nagar, Royapettah, Guindy and Kotturpuram. Many of the halls have modern amenities including kitchens and adequate parking space.

A few months ago, the Corporation cancelled the online booking facility for its halls, following large-scale irregularities in their allotment. Now, residents have to approach the revenue department to make bookings.

The civic body is also planning to do away with charges for the use of public toilets including the 2,000 to be built soon. Currently, there are around 700 toilets across the city.

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