Advertisement

Updated February 4th, 2024 at 10:58 IST

'Rs 100 Crore on Stables': Aaditya Thackeray Questions Racecourse Makeover Into Mumbai Central Park

The BMC plan for a 120-acre central park in Mumbai’s Mahalaxmi Racecourse land has been met with objections by Shiv Sena UBT leader Aaditya Thackeray.

Shweta Parande
Aaditya Thackeray
Mumbai Central Park: Aaditya Thackeray Questions Need For Racecourse Makeover | Image:Aaditya Thackeray X
Advertisement

Mumbai: The plans for a 120-acre New York-style Central Park on the Mahalaxmi Racecourse land were recently announced by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). However, Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) faction member Aaditya Thackeray has objected to the proposal again.

“Why should we as Mumbaikars spend ₹100 crores on stables that can be made by RWITC?” questioned Thackeray in a long post on social media platform X.

Advertisement

In January 2024, Aaditya Thackeray had written an open letter, when it was being speculated that the Mahalaxmi Racecourse, run by the The Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC), will be converted into a theme park.

BMC Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal had informed about the plans of the Mumbai Central Park in a presser on Friday. He said, “A Central Park on the lines of one in New York will be developed on land surrendered by Mahalaxmi Racecourse in south Mumbai.”

Advertisement

What Aaditya Thackeray said about Mumbai Central Park

“Today, there is a shortage of public park space in the city. Except for the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, just 140 acres out of Mumbai's one lakh acres are dedicated to gardens,” said Chahal.

Advertisement

"Every citizen will get free entry (to the proposed Central Park)," he said.

However, Aaditya Thackeray has objected to certain aspects of the Mumbai Central Park plan as well. 

Advertisement

Thackeray wrote an elaborare post on X about the issue, as follows:

The MC (Chahal) of BMC has now because of our pressure said that there won’t be a theme park but an open Central Park. While this is a big win for us, raising this issue, the point is not just the ground above, the MC of @mybmc has said in the open house a couple of more things which are still worrisome:

Advertisement

• An underground car park below the racecourse. It will involve large scale digging up for a minimum of 4 years. The underground car park below the racecourse isn't needed, because while making the coastal road, we have already provisioned an underground car park for 2000 cars on the coastal road.

• ₹100 crores to be spent by BMC (Mumbaikars' tax money) on remaking stables for @rwitcmumbai . Why should we as Mumbaikars spend ₹100 crores on stables that can be made by RWITC? It is a passion for most, sport for many and most who can buy horses, can contribute to built stables. Why our tax money?

Advertisement

• The informal settlement to be given houses in a "nearby SRA" scheme. Which nearby SRA scheme? The MC has said the builder would be given free additional FSI. This "free additional FSI" will obviously take a direct hit on BMC's treasury- Mumbai's tax money. This is a con job the MC is carrying out on behalf of the favourite contractor (for the underground car park) and the builder (free FSI) of the bjp sponsored regime in the state.”

Thackeray questioned further, “After I broke the issue to the people through the press, the MC has changed his statements multiple times..what is the worth of his word?

Advertisement

Ideally just declare the entire space as a playground if the RWITC still is keen to bifurcate it. Keep the horse riding activities along with the ground. Just a word of advice to the MC who works for contractor mantri (CM), and not the people..he said that the racecourse will be open now to the common man… He should stay in Mumbai, on weekends and holidays instead of flying out, and take a stroll at the racecourse, he’ll see the common Mumbaikars breathe free there,” wrote Thackeray. 

The MC of BMC has now because of our pressure said that there won’t be a theme park but an open Central Park.

While this is a big win for us, raising this issue, the point is not just the ground above, the MC of @mybmc has said in the open house a couple of more things which are…

— Aaditya Thackeray (@AUThackeray) February 3, 2024

Mumbai Central Park Details

Mumbai Central Park will be built over 300 acres, and  connect the new Coastal Road garden of 175 acres with the Mahalaxmi Racecourse land of 120 acres via a subway, informed Chahal.

Advertisement

“The Mahalaxmi Racecourse issue has been pending since 2013. I have been in discussions with the managing committee of the Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC) for one-and-a-half years. In monsoon, each building of the Racecourse is seen covered with blue plastic sheets. I have told them (RWITC) that your Racecourse has become like a slum,” the BMC chief added.

RWITC runs the Mahalaxmi Racecourse and the Pune Racecourse. Its 1914 lease agreement for the Mumbai land had expired in 2013.

Advertisement

Published February 4th, 2024 at 10:58 IST

Your Voice. Now Direct.

Send us your views, we’ll publish them. This section is moderated.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Whatsapp logo