MRC row: Time to sort it out

This has reference to City Today’s (March 3) news item about ‘MRC lease row: PWD to act’. I am sure PWD will examine the pros and cons and also taking into account the flagrant violations of terms and conditions by Mysore Race Club and recommend cancellation of the lease and take possession of the same.  For the past many decades, governments in power have been blowing hot and cold on this question that involves valuable lung space in the central business district of the city.

Media reports about race lovers going on a rampage and destroying property/infrastructure etc., appear regularly.  There are allegations of various malpractices.  This clearly brings out that this form of entertainment is flawed and is beset with nefarious practices.

Out of a population of about 12 lakh, only a few thousands are interested in horse racing; hundreds of families of gullible punters have been ruined.  It is not fathomable as to why for the sake of a few hundreds of punters, that too betting for a few days in a year, such valuable land in the city centre must remain vacant.  From environmental point of view also, bald vacant patch in this vast area of 139 acres and 11 guntas is creating heat waves thus resulting in climate changes. Now added to this question is the unofficial adjustment of MRC allowing/ sub-letting (?) portion of land to Jayachamaraja Wadiyar Golf Club for playing golf in its leased land of race club that too for a few people.

It is necessary to examine this burning issue from a judicial point of view – Need V/s Requirement – The word ‘Need’ has been described as something that is ‘absolutely necessary, could do with, must have, should, basic etc., with more thesaurus meanings to make it absolutely necessary to possess something for our existence.   The meaning of the word ‘Requirement’ has been described as obligatory, conditional, optional with Thesaurus meanings duty, compulsory, etc. So, this racing sport

Vasanthkumar Mysoremath, Social activist & environmentalist

If the above meanings are applied mutatis mutandis to the MRC controversy, we can arrive at a fairly well balanced judgment in favor of cancellation of lease agreement and to recover the land for majority class action (meaning: action that can be related to a majority of a class of people whose intentions are genuine). In this case, ‘Class Action Need’ of ‘majority citizens’ for clean air by creating carbon sequestrating sinks that help production of oxygen takes precedence.  Air pollution in areas near Central Business District is increasing by the day and need for cleansing the air with mini-forests can be met as an environmental solution for the haunting global problem of climate change.

The ‘Requirement’ of  ‘Race Lovers’ can be met by providing them land for an ultra modern alternate Race Course on the outskirts of the city. Race-goers also have a minority right under the ‘class action’; they are not being denied their fundamental right for a ‘so called pleasure past time’ since the MRC can and has the necessary wherewithal for creating an alternate Race Course.

When the lease is cancelled and land is recovered, first thing that has to be done is to close the club house; next, it would be prudent that the vacant land be converted into a carbon sink/organic forest with the help of schoolchildren by mass-planting of herbal, aromatic, fruit bearing trees/bushes, etc., and in a portion of the land create a pond for rain water harvesting that provides drinking water facility to the birds, bees, insects that inhabitants of the organic forest.

The compound wall may be retained as a measure of safety and the buildings inside may be used to provide quarters to malis and provide class rooms for children for studying nature, with minimum facilities like toilets, mini-conference hall with multi-media facility etc., for conducting environmental education classes to the children/groups who visit the nearby Zoo.

In addition, segregated waste that is being generated by residential/commercial units in and around the present MRC area can be transferred through tippers inside the compound for conversion into organic manure/virmi-compost and sold at reasonable cost to public.  In addition, in a portion of the land, suitable solar power panels may be erected so that electricity produced can be fed into the grid; further, a waste segregation unit/composting/ bio-gas plant may also be considered to be put up in a corner  along with a methane gas recovery/bottling plant for supply to various Government hostels around the city.

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