Tuesday, June 30, 2009


The Yeddyurappa government finds itself on a sticky wicket after allotting land around Chikkajala for a new race course. It seems to have willfully ignored a Karnataka High Court directive that explicitly prohibits commercial use of a notified lakebed area

The move by the Karnataka government to have the Bangalore Turf Club (BTC) shifted from Race Course Road might backfire, thanks to a legal hitch. The land identified by the Yeddyurappa government for the BTC, in and around Chikkajala and measuring a total of 152.02 acres with a tank bed area of 56.01 acres, is not meant to be sold or gifted.
According to a Karnataka High Court ruling, land belonging to tank bed areas in Bangalore Metropolitan Areas is not to be granted for any purpose, or to any person or organisation. The state government has filed an interim application before the high court for modification of the act and the matter is likely to he heard shortly.
In what could be a breather to the complacent BTC authorities and the thousands of workers whose livelihood depend on the race course, Green advocate Sunil Dutt Yadav said, “It is difficult to get the law amended. If you look at past cases (filed against the Oberoi group and others), the court had made it pretty clear that tank bed areas cannot be granted to any private entity.”
Desperate times call for desperate measures and the Karnataka Race Horse Owners Association (KRHOA) is doing everything possible to keep racing alive in the city. A statement by KRHOA highlighted the adverse effects of shifting racing from Bangalore to Mysore. The statement said the suggestion was only possible on paper.
The statement read: “MRC is yet to come to terms with providing stables for the 450 horses based at Mysore. The race track at Mysore cannot handle 1500 race horses. There is no equine hospital to cater to the need of about 1500 race horses and even facilities like a swimming pool for the horses is not available. The chances of the entire labour, support staff, professionals like trainers and jockeys shifting base to Mysore is very unlikely as all of them have been based in Bangalore for several years and have their families in Bangalore with their children either studying or employed in the city.” The statement added that the owners along with Karnataka Trainers Association (KTA) and Workers Union were planning to take the matter to court.
The owners are the backbone of the sport. They have invested around 250 crore on around 1000 horses based in Bangalore and the government decision will hurt them badly. The government decision has also left over 16,000 employees in the lurch. “The livelihood of 16,000 workers for whom racing is the only source of livelihood, the support staff and employees including about 500 women, about 150 handicapped persons and about 50 blind persons, will be left high and dry.” Also to suffer will be the breeding industry, the producers and suppliers of oats, bran and grass.


Post a Comment

<< Home