The managing committee of the Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC) in its meeting on Sunday took a non-committal stance on the elevated corridor being proposed over Mahalaxmi Racecourse.
The nine-member committee has unanimously asked for a holistic plan from the Brihanmumbai Municipal corporation (BMC) on the 1.5-km-long flyover being proposed. The proposed flyover is sought to connect NSCI junction at Hornby Vellard Road to King George Beggar’s Home at Haines Road and will run over the racecourse. It is meant to ease the traffic congestion on Dr Annie Besant Road and the Haji Ali junction from the sealink.
Talking to Hindustan Times, Vivek Jain, the chairman of the Media and Marketing Committee, RWITC, said it was too early to reject the proposal outright. “Though prima facie, it looks like a bad idea, but still we want the BMC to offer us the entire proposal and also the plan of the flyover,” he said. However, he added that RWITC would have to study the entire plan along with its effects on the racing. “Our main concern is that it should not disturb our racings as well as to preserve the open space, which is the green lung of this city,” he said.
Unlike one-and-a-half years ago, when the RWITC stringently opposed Mayor Shubha Raul’s proposal asking for a parking lot on the racecourse, this time the protests are subdued. The RWITC was recently caught on the wrong foot for violating lease terms for running Indigo and Olive restaurant-bars and also for unauthorised constructions by these eateries. The BMC, which is the owner of the 325 acres of the open space, had been pointing to these violations and has threatened to cancel the lease of this plot.