The Mumbai traffic police and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) have proposed a flyover over the Mahalaxmi Racecourse as a measure to reduce traffic congestion in the Worli area.
However, the proposal is likely to see a lot of opposition from environmentalists as well as animal lovers.
Under the proposal that initially came from the traffic police, a 1.5-km-long elevated corridor is sought to connect NSCI junction at Hornby Vellard Road to King George Beggar’s Home at Haines Road. It is meant to ease the traffic congestion on Dr Annie Besant Road and the Haji Ali junction from the sealink. The elevated road is proposed over the racecourse stables.
The BMC has now sent the plan to its Roads department, as well as the Royal Western India Turf Club that runs the Racecourse for study.
Municipal Commissioner Jairaj Phatak said: “The plan is in very elementary stage. The traffic department just made a presentation but the decision is yet to be taken.” He added that the RWITC is opposing the proposal as it fears that the project will have an adverse effect on the horses.
Animal expert Col Dr J.C. Khanna, member of Animal Welfare Board of India suggested that the government should reconsider the proposal. “It would lead to adverse effect on horses due to sound and air pollution. And if the horses cannot run because of ill effect on health, racing will have to be stopped,”he said.
Experts have pointed out that the racecourse is the one of the few major green patches in south Mumbai and no construction be allowed on it.