Mangaluru: “Do you both lawfully wedded(husband/wife), agree on this your Wedding Day to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part ?”. “Yes we do!”. “Do you both husband and wife agree to pay the rent of Rs 1 lakh for your wedding reception at the newly renovated Town Hall-Mangaluru?”. “Yes, we do!”. Effective December 1, 2015 renting Town Hall for a wedding function could cost you Rs 1 lakh for the day, which includes hall, sound and lighting system, air-condition and other new facilities. The rent has been hiked from last year’s rent of Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 90,000 plus from 1 December 2015 onwards.
The newly renovated Town Hall which was completed at a cost of Rs 4.58 crore was inaugurated on Children’s Day-14 November, and will be rented out for public functions and other occasions starting from December 1, 2015. According to sources, Mangaluru City Corporation will be in charge of the maintenance of the Town Hall. Security and maintenance people have been outsourced. Murals showcase on the walls at the entrance and on both the sides of the stage. Acoustical equipment, false ceiling, lights, stage, seats, air conditioner, generator and other amenities have been installed. Based on the artistes’ feed backs, teak wood flooring for the stage have been installed. Sophisticated lights, various facilities in the green room for the artistes, including AC, LEDs, signboard, garden outside the Town Hall and many other facilities have been added. To cover up all the expenses incurred MCC has decided to hike the rent.
The renovated Town Hall also now disabled-friendly with the erection of a ramp outside the Hall as well as inside, leading to the stage. Other facilities added are- two VIP rooms, two private rooms, dining room, modern sound-light system (so there is no need of hiring outside sound and light), Air-conditioned hall,green room, comfortable modern seats, modern western/Indian toilets/ bath rooms. The entire premises outside the hall has been asphalted, CCTVs on the premises, a generator room, parking bays and a garden are added. So with a extreme make-over, the renovated Town Hall now comes with a new rental tariff if someone wants it for functions or other occasions. Bookings were being done to hire the hall from December 1.
It is learnt that the draft of the revised rentals to be finalized will be put forth for scrutiny before the Standing Committee for Taxation, Finance and Appeals today (Thursday). After that it would be placed before the council on November 30 for its scrutiny and approval. According to reliable sources, the rent for hiring the hall for wedding reception with air-conditioned facility was earlier fixed at Rs. 35,000, including the ground rent of Rs. 10,000. In addition, those who hired the hall had to pay Rs. 10,000 as booking charge which was refundable. But now it is learnt that the rent has been hiked to Rs. 90,000, while the ground rent for erecting shamiyana for serving food has been retained at Rs. 10,000. The advance booking charge has been hiked to Rs. 40,000. Seems like the new committee of Town Hall are trying to match with the rent of Rs 1.5 lakh which other private halls charge for wedding functions!
Here is a summary of proposed rent: For Marriage function purpose-Rs 1 lakh plus Rs 40,000 booking charge (old rent: Rs 35,000 plus Rs 10,000 booking charge); For Free Yakshagana: Rs 10,000 (Old rent : Rs 1,500); Yakshagana with entry fee: Rs 20,000 (old rent -Rs 3,500); Drama with entry fee- Rs 20,000 (old rent-Rs 4,000); Free Drama- Rs 10,000 (old rent-Rs 2,000); Anniversary functions- Rs 35,000 (old rent-Rs 5,000).
Going back to the history of Town Hall–it was opened on December 29, 1964-it was closed for renovation in mid-September 2014. Renovation work started on October 18, 2014, in view of its Golden Jubilee. The estimated cost of renovation was Rs 3.55 crore, but as of now the cost went up to Rs 4.58 crore. The Mangaluru City Corporation, which renovated the common persons’ hall, inaugurated on November 14, at a cost of Rs. 4.58 crore, will allot it for programmes from December 1.