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Updated: December 24, 2011 08:13 IST

Team Anna pays money for venue

Staff Reporter
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Anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare performs yoga in Ralegan Siddhi in Maharashtra on Thursday. Mr. Hazare on Friday said the new Lokpal Bill was “very weak” and will not help in eradicating corruption.
AP Anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare performs yoga in Ralegan Siddhi in Maharashtra on Thursday. Mr. Hazare on Friday said the new Lokpal Bill was “very weak” and will not help in eradicating corruption.

Within hours of the Bombay High Court not giving any relief in the allotment of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) ground for the three-day protest, Team Anna paid Rs. 13 lakh to the MMRDA on Friday to secure the ground.

‘Amount refundable’

“We have given permission to them to use the ground from December 26 to 30.

“They have already paid Rs.7,78,000 in rent and Rs.5,29,000 in deposit through demand draft,” Anil Wankhede, Deputy Metropolitan Commissioner of the MMRDA, told The Hindu. The deposit amount is refundable.

Commercial rates applied

The MMRDA had permitted Team Anna to use the ground earlier itself. “But at that time, they booked the ground in the name of Jagrut Nagrik Manch, which is not a registered trust. Thus, we had to apply commercial rates,” Mr. Wankhede said.

As per the commercial rates, Team Anna would have had to pay Rs. 19 lakh.

No subsidy

The MMRDA has set four categories of allotment. No subsidy is given for the use of the ground for commercial purposes. But subsidy is granted to social organisations registered as charitable trust.

“Today, they approached us with an application that their registration should instead be made in the name of the sister concern of Jagrut Nagrik Manch.

“They thus booked the ground in the name of Public Cause Research Foundation, a social organisation registered as a charitable trust. We have given them allotment, subject to all necessary permissions to be secured by them,” he said.

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