BMC must take a call soon on fate of racecourse

Updated: Feb 06, 2020, 07:30 IST | The Editorial | Mumbai

Hardly had the dust settled down from the thunder of hooves on Indian racing's biggest day and the venue played host to a two-day auction of the horses.

This image is used for representational purpose
This image is used for representational purpose

The Indian Derby was run on Sunday, February 2, where the colt War Hammer brought the Mahalaxmi crowd to its feet as he flew past the post in a thrilling and emphatic victory.

Hardly had the dust settled down from the thunder of hooves on Indian racing's biggest day and the venue played host to a two-day auction of the horses.

The annual auction 2020 is the sale of two-year-old bloodstock. The country's biggest buyers, aspirational first time owners, veteran trainers and breeders were in attendance. A horse went for a record R41.5 lakh.

Events showed us that it is important for the city to preserve and keep this open space. For seven years now, the lease of the Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC) has been in limbo.

The BMC is to take a call soon, but all through, the Mahalaxmi officials have been on tenterhooks. Every landmark day and beyond should remind the custodians of the city about the necessity of keeping the racecourse as a lung for the people of Mumbai.

Every single inch of green need not be exploited for commercial purposes. An open space gives one intangible benefits, contributes to well-being and is a community hub.

The racecourse has been eyed by land sharks and politicians for years now. The lease problem makes this emerald of SoBo even more vulnerable than before.

There has to be an end to this waiting game, so that the racecourse is more secure. Whatever the terms of the renewal, there should be some kind of decision instead of this grey zone, with caretakers constantly on edge about the future. While eternal vigilance is important, it is also enervating and in cases like these, quite unnecessary.

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