CHENNAI: How much rent should the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) and Madras Cricket Club (MCC) pay for 7.48 lakh square feet of land leased from 2000 to 2015? The State believes they owe Rs 1,553 crore. TNCA and MCC disagreed and had contested the State’s claim in the Madras High Court.
Now, a three-member committee hopes to resolve the issue amicably. The committee comprising the revenue secretary, finance secretary and commissioner of land administration held its first meeting on Thursday. A 2017 Comptroller and Auditor General report had slammed TN for failing to determine, demand and collect rent from 2000 to 2016, even after the expiry of lease in April 2015.
The land was first leased to the association in 1936 and the lease has been renewed regularly. The association constructed the MAC stadium in the 1970s.
However, the State reserved its rights to enhance rent from 2000 to 2015. In 2004, the then tahsildar told TNCA rent had been fixed at market value from April 2000 and demanded Rs 22.98 crore. TNCA contested this. In 2015 it sought renewal of lease for 30 years.
On August 8, 2017, the tahsildar ordered payment of dues of Rs 32 lakh, which were paid. TNCA received a communication a month later, demanding Rs 1,553 crore as dues, which it contested in the HC. It is learnt the panel is looking at how other states have leased land for sporting venues.