Shiv Sena MP from Mumbai South Arvind Sawant has written to Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan opposing the state government’s plan to construct a heliport in Mahalaxmi Race Course. The Shiv Sena is keen on converting it into a theme park.
“This is to voice strong opposition to any such plans. If at all the VVIPs need a heliport the Raj Bhavan or Naval helipads may be used, as they are safe for VVIP landings and sanitised in terms of security. I will not support any attempts to grab land from Mumbaikars as I believe every Mumbaikar sees the 226 acre open space as the lungs of the city,” South Mumbai MP Arvind Sawant said in a letter sent to the Chief Minister on May 30.
Early last year, the state had asked the AAI to undertake a study on whether the existing day time helipad at Mahalaxmi could be developed into a full fledged heliport for all weather day-night operations. The AAI had in the end of May given its nod for creation of a heliport.
Interestingly, the Royal Western Indian Turf Club has also opposed the plan, calling the idea “ridiculous”. Senior officials have claimed that the project will be constructed with ‘minimum inconvenience’ to the public.