Race club taken to task over illegal structures

House committee wants MRC to hand over land for bird park

Race club taken to task over illegal structures

Members of the Audit Committee of the Karnataka Legislature on Wednesday took Mysore Race Club (MRC) authorities to task over various irregularities. The members suggested that the authorities hand over the land to Mysuru Zoo to develop a bird park.

Committee chairman and KR Nagar MLA Sa Ra Mahesh, who chaired a meeting at the club, took MRC president Hanuman Prasad to task after the committee members noticed illegal structures and unhygienic conditions. Mahesh said the area has turned into a slum and the authorities have constructed structures without obtaining permission from the Mysuru City Corporation (MCC). Mahesh also questioned Prasad as to why MRC land should not be handed over to the Mysuru Zoo authorities to develop a bird park.

Following an outbreak of the bird flu in the zoo a few months ago, the zoo was closed for a month and a large number of tourists were deprived of a chance to visit to the zoo. Even the tourism sector in the city incurred heavy losses. “To solve the issue permanently, it would be better to shift the birds to the MRC premises,” Mahesh said.

Prasad said a case pertaining to the land on which MRC is functioning is pending before the court. Though the lease period of the MRC has expired, the authorities have not vacated the place and have also illegally built 200 new structures including a horse stable. The committee members directed MRC to demolish the illegal structures to avoid legal action.

The 139 acres of land was leased to the club by the Public Works Department (PWD) in 1976. According to an estimate prepared by the PWD in 2008, the club was expected to pay Rs 32.11 crore ground rent per annum. However, the ground rent was revised to 2% of the revenue generated at the MRC.

Mahesh said a high-level meeting has been convened on June 6 in Bengaluru in connection with handing over the MRC land to the Zoo. Deputy commissioner, Zoo Authority of Karnataka (ZAK) chairperson, MRC president, directors and other officials concerned will attend the meeting.

Mysore zoo infighting

The Audit Committee members who conducted a meeting at the Mysuru Zoo, were aghast to notice a sheer lack of coordination between ZAK Chairperson Mallige Veeresh and Zoo Executive Director K Kamala. Mahesh urged both to work together for the development of the Zoo.

The committee members appreciated the Zoo authorities for maintaining all the documents related to the Zoo. Committee members N Y Gopalakrishna, D G Shantanagowda, S Muniraju, M Krishna Reddy, B Nagendra, J Raghu Achar and Vivek Rao were also present.

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