In a move that might strengthen the Shiv Sena’s stand on taking back the 211-acre Mahalaxmi race course from the Turf Club, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) carried out a fresh inspection of the premises on Thursday and found that violations by the club continued to exist. This, even after a notice and fine had been slapped on the club in February 2013.
The civic body will now be listing these violations in its report to the state government. The government will then take a call on the status of the lease.
In February this year, the civic body had found a number of violations by Turf Club at eight different spots on the grounds. Following that, the BMC had fined the club Rs1.5 crore and ordered it to deposit another Rs1.5 crore as assurance against any future violations.
The BMC served the club notice on February 14, telling it to rectify the violations in 15 days. But, more than three months since the inspection, these violations continue to exist and the fine remains unpaid.
The notice states that there were 17 violations of the lease conditions found at the eight spots. Prominent among these was the fact that illegal structures were constructed on racecourse land. Also, there were illegal extensions at various spots including Gallops restaurant, the Olive restaurant as well as the Amateur Rider’s Club club house.
While the Sena may want to use these violations against the club in their argument to take back the land, civic insiders said the violations could be regularised. “We had given them the option of regularising it by paying penalties, but they have refused to take note of it,” said a senior officer who is dealing with the matter.
Khushroo Dhunjibhoy, chairman, RWITC, agreed that not all violations had been rectified.
“A major part of the violations deal with Gallops, Olive and the Amateur Riders club which they have to themselves rectify.”