Mysuru: Tourism and Sericulture Minister S.R. Mahesh will visit the Mysore Race Course, run and managed by the Mysore Race Club (MRC) tomorrow at 8 am to inspect the areas where horse stables and sheds existed earlier. Based on the Minister’s order, the MRC authorities cleared the sheds that were spoiling the beauty of the Race Course.
A communication from the Information Department said that the Minister will visit the MRC at 8 am and will hold a meeting with the MRC authorities. The Minister had imposed a deadline of June 30 (today) for the MRC to clear the sheds and stables. As per the Minister’s directive, the stables were cleared and structures put up for housing workers and storing materials were removed to meet the deadline.
Speaking to Star of Mysore, Mahesh said that he would inspect the Race Course to ascertain whether his directions had been complied with. “The land had been rented out for racing activities and not for keeping horses and the people looking after horses,” he said. “The 139.30-acre Race Course is lush green and the stables and temporary structures were a blot. Tourists atop Chamundi Hill and those who played golf could see the ugly structures and people roaming around half-naked,” he said.
At a ‘Meet the Press’ event held at Pathrakartara Bhavan yesterday, Mahesh said that he has been fighting for the custody of the MRC land owned by the government and leased out to the MRC. “The Revenue Department is demanding Rs.95 crore from the Tourism Dept. for a 30-year lease of 110 acres of land in Himmavu village of Nanjangud taluk. But here we have the Public Works Department (PWD) leasing out the 139-acre of prime land to the MRC for just Rs.2 lakh per year,” he said.
“Following my intervention, the lease amount was fixed at 2% on the turnover of the MRC and it has crossed Rs.2.2 crore per year,” he added. The Minister pointed out that as per Court directive, the MRC must hold races by around 90 horses. “But the MRC is using the land for the stables of 600 horses. Each horse requires three caretakers and around 1,800 people are staying on the MRC premises. Most of them are migrants from North India,” the Minister said.
Reacting on the deadline to remove temporary stables, MRC Secretary K.G. Anantharaj Urs said that the sheds have been cleared as per the Minister’s directive. “We have demolished the sheds and have made temporary arrangements for the workers to stay within the MRC premises. Minister Mahesh has promised us to allot 20-acre land outside the city to establish permanent stables,” he said.
He said it was not easy to relocate horse stables. “We need to discuss the matter at the general body of the MRC and take a call,” he added.