Mumbai: Controversy Over Mahalaxmi Racecourse As State Cabinet Plans Central Park Over Public Opposition

Mumbai: Controversy Over Mahalaxmi Racecourse As State Cabinet Plans Central Park Over Public Opposition

There is no reference to the Amateur Riders' Club which was a part of the racecourse. It is an institution which has promoted horse riding and related sports over the past several decades.

FPJ News ServiceUpdated: Monday, March 11, 2024, 09:53 PM IST
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Controversy Over Mahalaxmi Racecourse As State Cabinet Plans Central Park Over Public Opposition | Salman Ansari/ FPJ

Mumbai: The state cabinet has decided to bulldoze public opinion and carve a central park out of the Mahalaxmi racecourse. A decision to this effect was taken by the cabinet on Monday even as a litigation in this regard is pending before the Bombay High Court.

There is no reference to the Amateur Riders' Club which was a part of the racecourse. It is an institution which has promoted horse riding and related sports over the past several decades.

The controversy could become a major issue during the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in south Mumbai. The Shiv Sena (UBT) and several activists' groups had opposed the move. Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Aaditya Thackeray, in particular, had slammed the proposal as a move to help certain builders.

The 211 acres of the racecourse is owned by the BMC and was leased to the Royal Western India Turf Club. The lease has expired and when the Club approached the BMC for renewing the lease the civic body insisted that it be allowed to use 120 acres for the central park which was earlier called theme park. Despite several requests from activists, the BMC has not explained what all will be the features of the proposed park.

In January, BMC commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal drove down to the Club and addressed its members. The media was kept out of the meeting. Somehow a majority of the Club members passed a resolution authorising the managing committee to enter into an agreement with the BMC.

Mr Chahal had rejected the criticism of the mega project and insisted that the civic body was only interested in giving a large park for the recreation of citizens.

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