Mumbai: BMC Finally Takes Possession Of 120 Acres Of Mahalakshmi Race Course Land, Ending Decades-Long Dispute

Mumbai: BMC Finally Takes Possession Of 120 Acres Of Mahalakshmi Race Course Land, Ending Decades-Long Dispute

Following approval from the state government, 120 acres of this prime land have now been handed over to the municipality, while RWITC retains the remaining 91 acres for continued use; confirmed Municipal Commissioner Dr Bhushan Gagrani.

RUCHA KANOLKARUpdated: Wednesday, June 26, 2024, 01:29 AM IST
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Mumbai: BMC Finally Takes Possession Of 120 Acres Of Mahalakshmi Race Course Land, Ending Decades-Long Dispute |

Mumbai: In a major development, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has finally taken possession of 120 acres of land at the Mahalakshmi race course, ending a long-standing dispute. The decision was made after the State Government approved the handover of the land to the municipality, paving the way for the creation of a sprawling Central Park, gardens, and open spaces.

Originally leased to the Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC) in 1914, the 211-acre race course saw its lease agreement expire in 2013 without renewal. Following approval from the state government, 120 acres of this prime land have now been handed over to the municipality, while RWITC retains the remaining 91 acres for continued use; confirmed Municipal Commissioner Dr Bhushan Gagrani.

Dr. Gagrani told FPJ, "The 120 acres of land will soon be developed into a Central Park, garden and open space for the benefit of Mumbaikars. We are excited to create a green oasis in the heart of the city." Issues regarding the division of the land were settled through discussions and mutual agreement between the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and RWITC. There are a few minor outstanding issues which they are committed to resolving promptly, said Municipal Administration.

The Maharashtra government's proposal to convert a portion of Mumbai's Mahalaxmi Racecourse into a large park had sparked intense controversy. Critics, including citizens and activists, had argued that the plan risked opening the door to commercial exploitation by land developers, potentially undermining one of the city's few remaining open spaces.

Opposition had criticized the lack of public consultation and had raised concerns about the perceived encroachment on the space traditionally used by Mumbai's clubs. Meanwhile, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had defended the initiative, emphasizing the urgent need to refurbish the deteriorating Racecourse to mitigate potential safety risks, despite assurances of a commitment to maintain the area's non-commercial status.

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