The Maharashtra government has decided to transfer a portion of the Cross Maidan, located near Churchgate station in South Mumbai, to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for commercial use, maintenance and security. According to a Government Resolution (GR) issued by the revenue and forest department yesterday, the portion of Cross Maidan (on the Churchgate station side) will be allocated for staging circus, cultural events and other commercial functions for 45 days from October 15 onwards and January 15 onwards each year. Till now, the 23,000-square-yard ground, which has eight cricket pitches, was under the administrative control of the Mumbai city district collector. The government had in June 2004 awarded a portion of it to Oval trust for its maintenance and security, the lease of which has now expired.
As per the terms included in the GR, the Mumbai city district collector will remove all illegal encroachments before handing over the portion to the BMC. Also, the BMC commissioner will be required to issue advertisements in newspapers to allot the portion of land for commercial use. As per the GR, the revenue collected out of the commercial usage of the land shall be with the BMC and the state government will not have any share in it. Also, the BMC will be required to shell out the money needed for the land’s upkeep and security.