Let us hold on to the real green gems of this city

Updated: Feb 02, 2019, 11:34 IST | mid-day correspondent

The real estate is an absolute gold mine and it is inevitable that there will be the opportunists who will always covet a slice of this Mahalaxmi pie

Let us hold on to the real green gems of this city

A hopefully memorable 77th Indian Derby is upon us tomorrow at Mahalaxmi. Every time racing's most prestigious event arrives, it throws the spotlight not just on the coveted title but the very turf that it is contested on – SoBo’s green emerald that should glow like a light in the heart of every Mumbaikar. We have said it before but we cannot say it enough – preserve the racecourse as an open, green space. Do not allow it to be 'commercialised' or put to better use as the land sharks would like us to believe.

The real estate is an absolute gold mine and it is inevitable that there will be the opportunists who will always covet a slice of this Mahalaxmi pie. Every citizen needs to be an activist in order to save the space from slipping away. Be alert, aware and ready for action in the form of protests and petitions, in order to save a true treasure.

With the lease in limbo and the sport struggling financially, this is fertile soil for all those threats to shut down racing and transform the green to something more useful (read land takeover) for the city. Let this vast, open space maintain status quo. It should continue to be the lungs of the city, delightful in these months when the air is a little nippy, and providing succour from brutal heat when the heat is unforgiving.

A new report by Greenpeace India has identified 139 cities where air pollution levels exceed national standards but were not included in the National Clean Air Programme ( NCAP) that was recently released by the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change ( MoEFCC).

What is also shocking and worrisome is the fact that Mumbai ranks 43 in the list. Do you need any more reason to save every inch of open space we have? We think not. Let us hold on to the real green gems of this city.

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