Mumbai News: Architects, Planners Oppose Govt’s Plan For Mahalaxmi Racecourse

Mumbai News: Architects, Planners Oppose Govt’s Plan For Mahalaxmi Racecourse

Under the banner of the Mumbai Architects' Collective, the architects have emphasised the need for a central park for Mumbai contrary to the amusement park being envisaged by the state government in tandem with the BMC

S BalakrishnanUpdated: Friday, January 12, 2024, 07:53 PM IST
article-image
Mahalaxmi Racecourse | File Photo

As many as 154 architects and planners of Mumbai have written to chief minister Eknath Shinde strongly opposing the government's plan for Mahalaxmi racecourse. 

Under the banner of the Mumbai Architects' Collective, the architects have emphasised the need for a central park for Mumbai contrary to the amusement park being envisaged by the state government in tandem with the BMC. 

The BMC has leased 227 acres to the Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC) and the lease has expired. 

“Destruction of Mumbai's last open lung”

Activists alleged that the BMC is forcing the RWITC to part with 120 acres for developing an amusement park. Hundreds of citizens have started a big campaign against “the destruction of Mumbai's last open lung.”

The Architects' Collective noted that the current open space per citizen in Mumbai was about 1.1 sq metres, which is far below the recommended standard of 9 sqm set by the World Health Organisation. New York has about 26.4 sqm and London has 31.6 sqm. This lack of open space is telling on the health of Mumbaikars.

The Collective said the need was for a central park where people will have a space to relax, exercise and interact with nature. Such parks also foster a sense of community. Also, the current air quality in Mumbai is “dangerously poor" which is the cause for the death of 14,000 lives since January 2021 costing the city a whopping $ 2.1 billion as stated by Green Peace.

BMC chief to respond to queries

Responding to the wave of anger in the city against the government and BMC's plan, the managing committee of the RWITC has convened an Open House on Thursday, January 18 at 5.00 p.m. in the members' enclosure where municipal commissioner I.S. Chahal will reply to queries from members.  The Club has already called for an extraordinary general body meeting on January 30 to pass a resolution to authorise the managing committee to enter into an agreement with the BMC for parcelling out prime land.

A member on condition of anonymity said the committee ought to have consulted members first before succumbing to pressure from the BMC. It has already agreed to surrender 120 acres and is now only asking for authority to enter into the agreement with the BMC. "The BMC is holding a gun to the Club's head and asking it to sign on the dotted line failing which the land lease will not be extended," another member added.

The Amateur Riders' Club (ARC), which has been completely left out, has threatened to move the Bombay high court if justice is not meted out to it. The ARC has been an integral part of the racecourse for several decades and now finds itself totally left out.

RECENT STORIES

Maharashtra Cyber Police Files FIR In Ranveer Singh Deepfake Video Case

Maharashtra Cyber Police Files FIR In Ranveer Singh Deepfake Video Case

Pregnancy Termination Case: Bombay HC Asks Medical Board’s Opinion On Selected Foetal Reduction

Pregnancy Termination Case: Bombay HC Asks Medical Board’s Opinion On Selected Foetal Reduction

Urdu Markaz: Single Platform To Refine Language Studies

Urdu Markaz: Single Platform To Refine Language Studies

Mumbai: Otters Club Staffer Seen Groping Child In CCTV Footage, Say Police

Mumbai: Otters Club Staffer Seen Groping Child In CCTV Footage, Say Police

Insurance Firm Rebuked: Widows Get Justice

Insurance Firm Rebuked: Widows Get Justice