mid-day editorial: The race is on to protect Mahalaxmi
It is time for a new world order at the Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC), as a new chairman replaces the former, heralding a relatively new team at the helm. Though some of those in the present committee have occupied chairs of power earlier too, this is a fresh innings with new challenges.
Instead of frittering away crucial time by bickering in the committee room, it is imperative that the turf club denizens save the Mahalaxmi racecourse. It is one thing to keep harping about bringing the crowds back to the Mahalaxmi racecourse, but what is even more crucial is saving this public space. For four years now, since the lease has expired, the government has not renewed it.
The RWITC has been custodian of this coveted bowl of green in SoBo, and the club has to fight tooth and nail to protect the status quo and maintain this as an open space for Mumbaikars. This is a priority, because the lease amount may be crushing, especially so for a club with fast depleting finances. There may be a fresh round of negotiations, and it should be interesting to see how the club and owners approach this.
There is also the huge financial crunch, which by now, seems to be familiar to club members. The scene looks dire and a substantial part of the question-answer session at the club on Monday evening was all about how they will tackle this crisis.
With the going is bound to be tough, it is imperative that there are no divides in the committee room and only a sharp focus on the road ahead. Most importantly, resources, intelligent thinking and logic should prevail instead of finger-pointing, ego battles and unnecessary plots. Frankly, the RWITC does not have the time or the luxury to indulge in these power games. These are desperate times and they call for cautious, studied measures.
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