An aerial view of the Mahalaxmi racecourse. Pic/Rane Ashish
State government's controversial lease policy to renew the century-old lands given to private parties in the city is expected to be tabled before BMC's group leaders soon. The policy had suggested making a separate policy for the Racecourse and lands given to certain clubs.
With this new lease policy, it appears that Shiv Sena's dream of developing a theme park at the Mahalaxmi Racecourse has been dashed, as the decision on extending the lease of the Racecourse land will be in the hands of the state government, which is expected to frame a new policy soon.
The 8.55-lakh sqm Racecourse is owned by the state government and the BMC. The land was given to Royal Western India Turf Club for 99 years. The lease ended in 2013, and even now, the BMC and the state have not taken any decision on it. In September 2016, the state cabinet had approved the new policy for lands given on lease. There are a total of 260 such properties in Mumbai. Of these, 101 lease grants, including that for the Racecourse land, have expired.
Earlier, Sena leaders, including party chief Uddhav Thackeray, had proposed to develop a theme park on the Racecourse land. A few months back, former mayor Snehal Ambekar had written a letter to the state government, asking it to not renew Racecourse's lease and develop Sena's theme park.