The Maharashtra government has asked the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) to pay Rs 120 crore as lease renewal and unpaid dues, failing which the association might have to vacate the Wankhede Stadium premises.
A notice issued on April 16 by Mumbai City collector Shivaji Jondhale — a copy of which is with Sportstar — states that the association needs to pay the amount or face action.
The Wankhede Stadium was built in 1975 after politician SK Wankhede decided that MCA must have its own stadium after repeated fall-outs with the Cricket Club of India (CCI). The stadium, which can accommodate 33,000 spectators, was leased to the MCA for 50 years, which ended in February last year.
As per that lease agreement, MCA was to pay the state government a monthly rent of Re 1per square yard for the built-up area and 10 paise per square yard for the remaining area.
The state government has claimed that rent amount changed after the MCA constructed a building on the plot — Cricket Centre — which is now the headquarters of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
The notice stated that the MCA needs to furnish permissions for every single alteration and construction on the plot. The collector also made it clear that if there is any illegal construction, that must also be declared by the cricket association.
While the MCA officials remained unavailable for comments, it has been learned that a site inspection is soon to take place and the MCA office-bearers have been summoned on May 3 to discuss lease renewal issue.