Mumbai: Mahalaxmi theme park may get green signal

Mumbai: Despite the Shiv Sena ruling the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for the past 25 years, its cherished dream to construct a theme park in the Mahalaxmi Racecourse has been stuck.

As the state government owns about 75 per cent of the racecourse land and the BMC 25 per cent, no decision could be taken without the permission of the state government. But now, with Sena ruling both state and BMC, its dream might just come true.

The BMC has given out around 4,000 plots on lease and most of these leases have been not renewed since 2013. Although the lease period has long-expired over, the BMC is yet to reclaim these plots. On many of these plots, there are unauthorised constructions.

Shiv Sena MP Rahul Shewale had proposed a resolution for an international standard theme park on the racecourse grounds at Mahalaxmi.

A world-class city should have a world-class theme park, Shewale had said. He had urged the BMC to immediately take possession of the plot used for horse racing and commence building a theme park.

The racecourse ground at Mahalaxmi was leased to the Royal Western India Turp Club for 99 years. However, when the lease agreement ended, former Mayor Snehal Ambekar had sanctioned a theme park on the racecourse.

Although the Shiv Sena was in power with the BJP in the state, its dream remained out of reach. A proposal was approved at the civic general body meeting and sent to the state government for approval, but no decision was taken.

According to a government resolution (GR) issued by the Fadnavis government, the right to renew the lease was not with the BMC. Renewal of the lease agreement with a new condition would require permission from a competent authority -- the state government.

With Uddhav Thackeray being the chief minister now, the pending proposal is likely to be cleared, party sources told FPJ.

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