After the Shiv Sena tabled the proposal to turn the Mahalaxmi racecourse land into a theme park at the Improvements Committee meeting on Friday, the Opposition trained its guns on the Shiv Sena corporators pointing out the sorry state of civic gardens and questioned the logic behind taking over Mahalaxmi racecourse land.
Corporators created a ruckus in the meeting over the proposal that the BMC take over its portion of the Mahalaxmi racecourse. The chairman Prakash Gangadhare thereafter referred the proposal back to the administration for deliberation.
“The Sena-led BMC has not come up with a concrete plan on what it would do with the Racecourse plot. If the Sena corporators and the administration were serious, they would have come up with a plan by now. Look at the state of the Powai BMC garden and how long it is taking the BMC to renovate Byculla garden and zoo,” said Geeta Yadav, a Congress corporator and member of the Improvements Committee.
A year after the Maharashtra government raised questions over the Shiv Sena-led Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) claim that it owned 30 per cent of the Mahalaxmi racecourse land, the civic body is yet to ascertain the claim. The lack of evidence further delays Sena’s plan to take over the plot and turn it into a theme park.
The state Urban Development (UD) department had directed the civic body to produce documentary evidence to validate its ownership claim.
Situated in the heart of the city, the Mahalaxmi racecourse is spread over 8.55 lakh sqm open space. Of this, the BMC has claimed ownership of 2.58 lakh sqm, while conceding that the remaining 5.97 lakh sqm space is owned by state government.
However, the Sena leaders feel that the BMC should not renew the license. “First, we need to get the land in our (BMC) hands. The administration informed us that some paper formalities are still remaining and it will take time to get the land. We will definitely use the land for a Central Park-like area with different amenities. But for all this, we don’t immediately need a plan, we need to get the land first,” said Sena leader Shubha Raul.
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