Tourism Minister’s move to shift Mysore Race Course opposed
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Tourism Minister’s move to shift Mysore Race Course opposed

Mysuru: Vehemently opposing  the Tourism and Sericulture Minister S.R. Mahesh’s plans to shift the Mysore Race Course (MRC) to city outskirts and convert the present MRC land into a Botanical Garden, BJP National Council Member and former Karnataka Exhibition Authority (KEA) Chairman B.P. Manjunath said that the 139.30-acre Race Course was the most ideal place for horse-racing.

Addressing a press conference at Pathrakarthara Bhavan yesterday, Manjunath said that instead of focusing on shifting  MRC, the Minister should concentrate on completing all pending tourism projects in Mysuru.

“The very idea of shifting the MRC and developing it into a Botanical Garden on MRC land is flawed and illogical as it would damage the tourism prospects of this Heritage and Cultural city. It will affect the employment of  around 3,000 people associated with the Turf Club,” he said.

Manjunath said that MRC was a contribution of Mysore Royal family and along with the Golf Club its total annual turnover is over Rs. 400 crore. “More than Rs. 39 crore is being paid as taxes every year and if such an institution moves to the city outskirts, the government will lose revenue and at the same time, thousands of people will be rendered jobless. There is no bigger tragedy than this,” he said.

Questioning the idea of Botanical Garden in the Race Course land, Manjunath said that the land was not suitable for Botanical Garden as the surface is flat. “Worldwide, botanical gardens are established on undulating land with many gradients. In Mysuru, over 200 acres of land that is ideal for Botanical Garden is available behind the Indus Valley Ayurvedic Centre till Tavarekatte Gate (Chamundi Hill Arch Gate) on the way to Chamundi Hill. The Minister can set up Botanical Garden there instead of shifting a well-established Race Course,” Manjunath said.

Highlighting the social activities of the MRC, Manjunath said that MRC runs an eye hospital (MRC Eye Hospital) that is doing yeomen services to the poor and needy better than any government eye hospitals. “More than 70,000 eye surgeries have been performed so far. The hospital has ultra modern facilities and nowhere in the world can one find any race club doing such social service,” Manjunath said.

He said that if the Minister is hell bent on shifting the MRC, the shifting process will take more than 10 years.  “At a time when Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy is saying that his government will last only for one year, it is doubtful if S.R. Mahesh will last as Tourism Minister for more than one year. If the MRC is shifted in a situation like this, there is scope for real estate mafia and land sharks to occupy the prime land and turning it into a concrete jungle,” he said.

“The Minister should concentrate on renovating the popular Brindavan Gardens at Krishna Raja Sagar (KRS) Dam, in Srirangapatna taluk and should take immediate steps to complete the large Aquatic Museum near the Race Course for which Yeddyurappa’s government had already spent about Rs. 10 crore and look at the completion of the multi-level parking facility in Town Hall, which have been in limbo for years. A contractor from Hyderabad (Chhabria Group) has taken Rs. 18 crore from the Mysuru City Corporation and left the Town Hall renovation works unfinished. Let the Minister bring him to book and  complete the works instead of targeting the MRC,” Manjunath said.

He demanded that the area of MRC, Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens and Karanji Lake must be declared as a Green Belt. He also demanded that the Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel should be given publicity on the lines of the Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad, which attracts thousands of tourists.

Former Deputy Mayor Mahadevamma, party leaders Basanth Kumar, Hemant Kumar, Basavaraju and Manju C. Gowda were present during the press conference.

Kannada Vedike supports Minister Mahesh

The Karnataka Kannada Vedike has demanded the MRC to be shifted from the city limits. Addressing a press conference at Pathrakarthara Bhavan this morning, Vedike President Suresh Babu and office bearers M. Chandrashekhar and Bhanu Mohan said that Tourism Minister S.R. Mahesh was right in shifting the Race Course.

“A lot of illegal activities including betting and misappropriation of money take place there and those who run the Race Course have violated the land lease norms in many ways. We urge Minister Mahesh and Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy to immediately shift the MRC to city outskirts,” they said.

Note: While there is some justification for asking for the shifting of the stables to a place outside city, the idea of shifting the Race Course is ill-advised. Unfit for a Botanical Garden, the vacant land, once Race Course is shifted, is bound to fall into the hands of land mafia. Further, the MRC Eye Hospital too will close down. Is there a nexus between politicians and the private eye hospitals? — KBG

June 22, 2018

9 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Tourism Minister’s move to shift Mysore Race Course opposed”

  1. dr.m.shanthakumar says:

    this minister must be a mad man ! DO NOT SHIFT THE MRC . develop your new race course outskirts of the city separately. in this shifting process there seems to be a lot of politics and many are eager to swallow crores of rupees. mr.cm. do not allow this.

  2. Madhusudhan Gowda says:

    Shifting MRC is a bad idea, and leads to waste of money.

  3. Sir,
    It seems to me that the minister for tourism has a personal vendetta against MRC. As Mr. Manjunatha says, the minister has lot of other things to tak care of and prove his competence.

    As for Karnataka Kannada Vedike, they should work on protecting Kannada and Kannada Culture from assault by Hindwalas and other outsiders in Bengaluru instead of wasting time supporting the tourism minister’s ill conceived idea of moving the MRC.

  4. swamy says:

    Race course should not be shifted. It should be permanently closed. It has ruined thousands of family and created gamblers. I have seen, husbands took wife’s jewels, and got loans on them, bet on race and lost.

  5. ankeatas says:

    To close MRC is not a solution, shifting it from orginal place is again a polictical play. Why suddenly now eye on MRC ? real estate investment ?
    MRC has been traditionally followed since period of Mysore Kings. Even today MRC is known its a pride to have it in Mysore and its best suitable place too. Try to trouble shot the issue for the better. instead….

  6. CA. N B Aradhy says:

    I bet you, Neither they shift Race Course nor take possession of the property to the Government… It is only a gimmick… Mr. Sa Ra Mahesh simply he goes every where take good team of photographers and scribes,, gives good sogans.. some times back he had been to Silk Industry said 400 crores will be invested in …???? comes here says.. shifts zoo.,, sorry moves zoo to Race Course…
    First, Let him go to Chunchanakatte, which is near to his native Saligrama… The unit is becoming scrap.. I dont know since how many decades back it closes.. Let him first renovate make it to run.. and is a good product in employment generation.. good input for the local cane growers… and good economic activities as such… He can do this provided if his government continues.. till that time

    • dr.m.shanthakumar says:

      i fully agree with you. there is no necessity of shifting the race course. there is big politics here. the present botanical garden is enough o cater to tourists. there must be some underhand dealings in the moved with builders . Mysoreans must fully oppose this move of sa ra mahesh thread and bare.

  7. R. Raja Chanadra says:

    Mysore Race Course is a Heritage Property. Though Racing in Mysore Kingdom was started during the times of Maharaja Mummadi Krishna Raja Wadiyar , the extant Race Course was developed by his son Maharaja Chamarajendra Wadiyar. It was a private property of the Maharaja of Mysore as on 26-1-1950. Late Maharaja Jayachamaraja Wadiyar had agreed to sell it to MRC on the condition that it would continue to allow Golfing activity within the premises. But for reasons unknown then management allowed it to be sold to the State Government and leased to MRC. But the conditions of sale are sacrosanct. Even in BTC , stabling of Horses are done within the Race Course premises. With increased traffic it would no longer be viable to have Stabling in a different location. When tamil Nadu Government tried to stop Racing by enacting Tamil Nadu Horse Races (Abolition of Wagering or Betting) Act, 1974, Sc stayed the Act. then TN Govt. tried to acquire the Race Course by passing Madras Race Club (Acquisition and Transfer of Undertaking) Act, 1986. But Sc struck down the Acquisition Act and went on say: ” We hold and declare that horse racing is a game of mere skill within the meaning of Section-49 of the Police Act and Section 11 of the Gaming Act. Horse racing is neither “gaming” nor “gambling” as defined and envisaged under the two Acts read with the 1974 Act and the penal provisions of these Acts are not applicable to the horse racing which is a game of skill. The 1985 Act is ultra vires Article 14 of the Constitution and as such is stuck down.”

    Horses are our Heritage and have done yeoman service to the society in war and peace. Just hundred years ago our Lancers proudly freed the town Haifa during the world War-1 and 23-9-2018 is its centenary year. Modernisation might have made use of Horses for mobility irrelevant but it is our sacred duty to preserve them and their breed for posterity. Racing and Polo are one of the few avenues available. Indian army proudly keeping the legacy by still keeping intact the The 61st Cavalry Regiment of the Indian Army which is horse-mounted unit and is believed to be the largest operational mounted cavalry unit remaining in existence in the world.

    I hope the Tourism Minister stops meddling in other Ministry’s affairs by his foolhardy utterances. Instead let him devote some time in organising a befitting Centenary of haifa day and pay fitting homage to the martyrs who lost their lives in Present day Israel.

  8. Brijesh Urs says:

    Uncultured and bad thought to move race course! A highlight of mysore city and history.
    May be the present minister (or his loved ones) was neglected by club for some membership issue so he is acting like in this uncultured way!!
    Sad mysore is targeted by such shortsited individuals!!
    If one visits the choultry this minister has built …one will understand the cultural knowledge he has!! It is a building with bad architecture!!
    Hope this government will collapse so new sensible minister comes in place !

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