Taking serious note of the complaints from the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) and the residents from Marine Drive area, the city collectorate has moved a proposal to ban wedding ceremonies at gymkhanas on weekends so that cricket matches are played on a regular basis.
The collectorate has decided to restrict the wedding ceremonies and other ceremonial events held at gymkhanas on the Marine Drive stretch. The gymkhanas will now be restricted from holding wedding ceremonies on Saturdays and Sundays. It has also proposed to hike the daily rents from Rs50,000 to Rs75,000 per day on first day and from Rs25,000 to Rs50,000 from second day onwards. It wishes to restrict the wedding ceremonies to 25 days per annum.
The gymkhanas allegedly mint money by allowing plush wedding ceremonies at the grounds meant for cricket matches. The Mumbai Cricket Association, in a recent meeting, has brought to the notice of all officials that the gymkhanas are not availed for matches played on weekends.
“Though the gymkhanas are booked for a day of wedding, they are actually engaged two days before and a day after the ceremony for preparation. On record only one day is counted as rented out for the ceremony. Semi finals and finals are played on weekends when these gymkhanas are not available,” said Ratnakar Shetty, vice-president of the MCA.
“The ground is denied even when gymkhana’s own teams are playing. Secondly, the rent for the matches is so high that clubs prefer Azad Maidan and Cross Maidan than these gymkhanas,” he added.
Chandresh Shah, president, Marine Drive Residents Association, said: “Whatever restrictions in terms of days per year, more than 150 days a year are booked for wedding ceremonies on almost all the six gymkhanas on the stretch. They charge nearly Rs3 lakh per ceremony. The gymkhana managements are violating noise pollution and parking norms, causing problems for residents.”
Sanjay Dhikle, superintendent, survey and land records, said: “We have written to the revenue department to bring some restrictions on the ceremonies. It is suggested that the gymkhanas ‘preferably’ should not be given for weddings on Saturday and Sundays. We have suggested to ban the weddings on weekends. There is no specified day limit on such ceremonies currently, our proposal suggests to restrict it to 25 days a year.”
According to the records at the collector office, gymkhanas on Marine Drive have been giving out the grounds on rent for wedding ceremonies for between 30 to 35 days per year, while Parsi gymkhana has been allowed to extend the limit to 60 days.