The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has decided to outsource some of its community halls to private players to open commercial offices, coaching centres, restaurants, banks, retail shopping, and other ventures.
The move comes following low footfall at the halls that are meant to hold functions, officials said. Standing committee chairperson B K Oberoi said the corporation did not have sufficient finance to manage maintenance or even pay staff and guards posted in the 14-15 centres.
There are 91 community centres under the SDMC’s jurisdiction. Most have parking issues and are not well-connected, he added.
In the first phase, some floors in the community centres in Greater Kailash 2 and Amar Colony will be leased out.
Senior officials attributed the low footfall to lack of maintenance, unprofessional management, the locations of such halls and people generally opting for banquet halls and hotels to hold weddings and other functions.
Additionally, Covid has affected business, and the hall in GK-2 was started only after the onset of the pandemic.
In some cases, there are security and maintenance issues in water and electricity supply, he said, adding: “Even if community halls offer better rates than competitors, people feel owners of private establishments are more responsible and complaints are redressed faster.”
As of now, the civic agency’s community halls are divided into five categories — A, B, C, D and E. For renting a hall in category A, people have to pay Rs 42,500, including security deposit and cleaning charges. For B halls, the cost is to Rs 27,000; community halls in category C cost Rs 22,000; while D and E halls cost Rs 13,500 and Rs 8,500 respectively.
SDMC deputy commissioner P S Jha said the idea is to ensure better upkeep of these places and generate more revenue for the corporation.