Kunte: BMC canít decide Racecourse lease alone

A day after political leaders at the BMC including Mayor Sunil Prabhu passed a resolution to cancel the 99-year lease of the Royal Western Indian Turf Club or Mahalaxmi Racecourse, which is up for renewal on May 31, civic chief Sitaram Kunte said the decision cannot be taken by the corporation alone.

The BMC owns only 2.54 lakh sq m of the racecourse's 8.54 lakh sq m, and must take a call in consultation with the state government, which owns the remaining 6 lakh sq m, Kunte said.

"As the BMC owns only a minor portion of the land co-owned with the state government, the corporation cannot decide on its own that it will not renew the lease," the commissioner said. He added that the BMC and government had not yet discussed the matter. The civic chief also said the civic administration would take a closer look at the legal cases the club is fighting in Bombay High Court and the Supreme Court. "It has come to our attention that there are some cases pertaining to the racecourse pending in the courts. We will have to take these into account while making a decision," he said.


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