Amateur Riders Club fears eviction from Mahalaxmi Racecourse | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Amateur Riders Club fears eviction from Mahalaxmi Racecourse

Jan 25, 2024 08:04 AM IST

The Amateur Riders Club (ARC) has sent a letter to the civic chief of Mumbai to acknowledge its rights and seek clarity on the proposed theme park at Mahalaxmi Racecourse. ARC is concerned about the new stables that the BMC plans to build for the Royal Western India Turf Club, as they are located on the same land where ARC has its stables. ARC has an agreement with RWITC dating back to 1974, which allows them to carry out riding activities on the ground. ARC is seeking assurance that their riding activities will be unaffected by the development.

MUMBAI: The Amateur Riders Club (ARC), one of the most affected parties in the proposed 120-acre theme park at Mahalaxmi Racecourse, has sent a letter to civic chief I S Chahal to acknowledge its rights and include it in the BMC’s and state government’s grand plan for the earmarked land. ARC has also sought clarity on the issue of stables, as the new stables that the BMC is to build for the Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC) are on the same portion of land where ARC has its stables.

HT Image
HT Image

Shyam Mehta, president, ARC, told HT that Chahal was non-committal during the January 19 open house on the racecourse issue. “He said that if we had documents, we could show them to the BMC,” he said. “I informed him that we have no documents with the government, but we do with RWITC. I also told him that since the ground is supposed to remain green, with no construction or monetisation, it should not affect the government if horse-riding continues on a small portion. Chahal responded that this was not his brief for the open house, but he would take our case to his higher-ups and revert.”

HT launches Crick-it, a one stop destination to catch Cricket, anytime, anywhere. Explore now!

In his letter to Chahal after the open house, Mehta thanked the civic chief for accepting his invitation to visit the club and see ARC’s riding facilities. “I look forward to welcoming you,” said the letter. The visit by the civic chief is important for ARC since, according to Mehta, Chahal had questioned ARC’s right to continue in the racecourse.

Mehta emphasised this right by recounting ARC’s history. “We have an agreement with RWITC dating back to March 19, 1974, which allows us to carry out riding activities on the ground,” he said. “Last week, governor Ramesh Bais was chief guest for our polo match at the racecourse. We have had police and municipal commissioners, presidents, vice-presidents and the chief justice of India as chief guests at our shows, which is ample proof of our existence over the years.”

Mehta has already sent a letter to CM Eknath Shinde on January 4 and a reminder on January 10 but has received no response. The letters mention the history of ARC at the racecourse. “We are an 82-year-old institution which has been at the racecourse for 60 years,” he said. “The government should confirm that the areas used by us for our activities will remain untouched, and we will be permitted unhindered access to the same.”

Mehta said that ARC was right in the middle of the racecourse and should be left undisturbed. “Under the new plan, the Turf Club is getting the area where our stables currently are,” he said. “They may ask us to get out, if RWITC says it does not have enough space. And even if we get stable space, where will the horses ride?”

Chahal, who had told HT after the open house that he would take up the matter with the state government, remained unavailable for comment.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Tuesday, April 23, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On