Sena plan to transform Race Course into garden finds BJP support

BJP Tuesday extended support to Shiv Sena’s proposal to transform Mahalaxmi Racecourse into a public garden.

Written by Express News Service | Published: May 14, 2013 3:27:19 am

BJP Tuesday extended support to Shiv Sena’s proposal to transform Mahalaxmi Racecourse into a public garden. Deputy leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Gopinath Munde said,“The Race Course,which has been leased out to the private Turf Club,is serving only one section of people — the rich and famous. As its lease ends soon,it should be acquired and turned into a beautiful garden.”

Munde said,“Sena president Uddhav Thackeray has not demanded installation of Bal Thackeray’s memorial or statue at Race Course. We are only talking of transforming the Race Course to a garden of international standards.” A state government source said,“Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan is clear that there should be no controversy over Race Course. He has urged BMC and urban development department officials to look into all aspects to consider what can be done as the lease comes to an end on May 31.”

Chavan is likely to discuss the matter with Sena leaders soon.

Officially,nobody from the CMO was willing to comment on the matter.

A senior bureaucrat said,“It is still in a preliminary stage. Let us see what stand BMC takes on the matter and how corporators across the party lines respond to the Sena proposal.”

Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant said,“There is a heritage aspect also attached to the Race Course that cannot be overlooked. It has become a major landmark.”

BMC earmarks Rs 20 cr to make crematoriums eco-friendly

BMC will spend Rs 20 crore to transform its 46 civic crematoriums into eco-friendly facilities. It will also provide the crematoriums free compressed natural gas (CNG) and piped natural gas (PNG).

In the first phase,nine crematoriums will be taken up for conversion. At present,only the privately-run Mulund crematorium uses green method for combustion.

While initially BMC allocated Rs 5 crore for the project,the budget has been revised anticipating a cost escalation of Rs 15 crore for additional equipment. The civic standing committee approved the proposal Tuesday.

“We will focus on nine crematoriums in the current fiscal,” said additional municipal commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar.

Mhaiskar added Mahanagar Gas has offered the civic body to provide natural gas to the crematoriums.

The BMC initiative is aimed at reducing health hazards to citizens. Residents of areas located near crematoriums complained of respiratory problems caused by the burning of wood and the smoke generated by it.

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