The Shiv Sena has decided to up its ante in the fight over the Mahalaxmi racecourse plot and is thinking of taking up 1/3rd area of the plot, owned by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
Wary that the state might not agree to its demand of not renewing the lease of the racecourse to the Turf Club, the Shiv Sena is studying the legal implications of breaking up the land.
Of the total 8.55 lakh square metre that the race course currently occupies, 2.58 lakh square metre is owned by the BMC while the rest 5.96 lakh square metre is owned by the state.
While the latter part of the plot is a schedule W property, which authorises the civic body to lease out the property on the state’s behalf, the state will reserve the right to decide what to do with the lease.
However, if the plot is demarcated and broken into two, the BMC will get to decide what it wants to do with the land, without asking the state for its consent.
The Sena is confident that if it breaks down the plot, the racecourse will not be able to function on the remaining land.
“A major part of the racecourse’s existing structures
and activities are on the part of the plot owned by the BMC.
If we take this away, the state will be forced to take the decision in our favour,” said a Sena source.
Civic officials, meanwhile, said that the state would not be happy with this idea and considered it not feasible.
“We are studying various options to ensure that at least the land owned by the civic body is utilised for public good, rather than just for a handful of wealthy people,” said Rahul Shewale, standing committee chairman.
Another Sena leader said the party was also coaxing the administration to study legal options before them.
“We are sure that no matter what step we take against the club, it will move the court against us. Hence, we are asking for legal opinion on various issues before moving ahead.”