MCC Works Committee decides to immediately demolish the structures being constructed at the Mysore Race Club blatantly violating law.
The Works Committee of the Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) has decided to immediately demolish the newly constructed or the under-construction of stud sheds to house horses on the Mysore Race Club campus that comes under Survey Number 4, Kurubarahalli.
The MRC is constructing stud sheds and stables to house 700 horses and according to the committee, the construction activity is illegal and no permission was sought from the civic authorities – either from the zone or from the commissioner – for the same.
At a meeting of the committee held at the MCC on Thursday, chairman M K Shankar and members B V Manjunath, K C Shoukath Pasha and Suhel Baig questioned the construction and decided to demolish the structures. “We will do it immediately and will go to the club campus after this meeting. We cannot allow illegality under our very noses,” M K Shankar told City Today.
The meeting took cognisance of the committee members’ visit to the race club on 18-03-2016, when the club authorities were directed to demolish illegal structures. “The committee had served notices thrice to the club authorities and they have neither responded nor stopped the illegal constructions,” the meeting was told.
“The club authorities initially argued that the MCC had no jurisdiction over the club as the land in which the construction is taking place belonged to the PWD. But we checked the MCC bylaws that clearly states that it is a public property under city limits and taxes and water bills have to be paid to the MCC,” M K Shankar told the meeting.
The committee, during its visit on March 18, had taken photographs of the old constructions of stables and sheds. “Despite our notice, the club authorities have not stopped construction. We will take immediate action,” he said. The members unanimously supported the decision of the committee chairman.
WATER BILL OF Rs 200!
The meeting observed that the club paid a paltry Rs 200 as the water bill to the MCC every month though there are more than 1,000 employees working on the club campus on a daily basis. The club authorities have justified the Rs 200 bill and had told the committee that they used only 1/2 inch pipe to draw MCC water and had borewells inside.
Committee members also discussed the club compound wall that is more than 3 feet in height. “Any public property within the city limits must have a compound wall of not more than 3 feet. Here, the club has constructed the compound wall that is more than 5 feet,” the meeting observed.
LAND AND LEASE CONTROVERSY
The land to the 125-year-old Mysore Race Club was leased out by the government and many persons including elected representatives had opposed the lease for what they called “misuse” of 139 acres and 39 guntas of prime land by a select few.
In 1976, the state government acquired the land and leased it to the club for 30 years. The PWD was asked to own the land and it was given to the club with a provision for revision of lease amount every five years. The lease ended in 2006 and in 2011 the lease was extended for 10 years, with effect from March 2006 and the lease ended on March 31, 2016.
There has been a demand by elected representatives and prominent individuals to revoke the land lease agreement after March 2016. Prominent among the elected representatives is Janata Dal (Secular) MLA Sa Ra Mahesh.
He had alleged that several government officials have colluded with the club authorities to ensure that the lease agreement continues despite recommendations of the district administration to stop all the activities of the club.
Sa Ra Mahesh had demanded that the club should be shifted outside the city. Though the club was operating on a leased land, the club authorities have taken up permanent constructions without the approval of the government and by greasing the hands of officials, he had alleged.
The PWD had, in 2008, estimated that the club had Rs 32.11 crore ground rent per annum as per the prevailing rates. This was successfully prevented due to the collusion of certain bureaucrats and patron politicians and the club only paid two per cent of its revenue as rent, he said. The Jayachamaraja Wadiyar Golf Club (JWGC) is reportedly operating illegally on the land leased to the race club, he had alleged.
Even the past deputy commissioners including P Manivannan and Harsh Gupta had suggested shifting the race course. Both of them had proposed a green project including a botanical garden on the lines of the one in Udhagamandalam (Ooty) that would boost both environment and tourism.