Sena and the Mayor want to turn Mahalaxmi Race Course into a recreational area

The Mahalaxmi Race Course could soon turn in to a recreational park on the lines of Central Park in New York and named after the late Bal Thackeray. Even though the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) refrained from commenting, the ruling Shiv Sena endorsed the idea of setting up such a park on the 225-acre land in the heart of Mumbai and has asked the State government to not extend the race course’s lease, due to expire on May 31.

Uddhav Thackeray, Sena president, on Monday said there is nothing wrong in naming the race course after his father, the late Bal Thackeray. “It will be better to name the place after Balasaheb, than Rajiv Gandhi,” he said. He added that the city has been craving for open space and such a garden would be a relief to Mumbaikars.

“We had no such plan of building a memorial on that place, but if the people are of this opinion, then we will welcome it,” he said.

The Royal Western India Turf Club Limited (RWITC), one of the oldest and most well-known clubs hosts horse racing at Mahalaxmi. It is facing trouble on the renewal of the land’s lease which belongs to the BMC and partly to the State Government. Earlier, the lease was renewed by the BMC in 1994 till May 31, 2013. Sunil Prabhu, the Mayor of Mumbai, was the first to oppose the renewal of the RWITC’s lease.

Mr. Prabhu alleged that the race course is not open for common public and the growing population need the open space in the city.

  • The race course is not open for the public, growing population need the open space: Prabhu

  • It will be better to name the place after Balasaheb, than Rajiv Gandhi: Uddhav Thackeray