Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: Rajya Sabha member B.K. Hariprasad has urged the Government to allow racing activities of the Bangalore Turf Club (BTC) at the existing location till a new racecourse was built.

His demand came in the light of the Government asking the BTC to stop racing activities on the existing premises after December 31, 2009 if racing cannot be held at an alternative location.

“I am surprised that the Government contemplates cessation of racing activity at the existing location, pending the exercise of shifting. The proposed measure of restricting the activity in the interim period in Bangalore serves no beneficial purpose and will be counter productive in the long run,” he said.

He said such an action would involve displacement of about 1,000 horses and lack of employment opportunities to more than 5,000 people who are dependent on the sport. This would result in the sport losing patronage cultivated over a number of decades. It would also lead to substantial revenue loss.

Considering the economic fallout, Mr. Hariprasad said that it would be desirable to permit racing on the existing premises, pending alternative arrangements and subject to a written assurance from the racing authorities that the racecourse would be relocated within a time frame.