Kannada outfit agrees with Sa Ra Mahesh, wants race course shifted ot of Mysuru city limits

Mysuru: Endorsing Sa Ra Mahesh’s proposal to develop a botanical garden in the city along the lines of the one in the popular tourist hill station Udhagamandalam (Ooty) at the (MRC), members of the Karnataka Kannada Vedike on Friday urged the state government to shift the race course out of city limits.
The forum’s honourary president m Chandrashekar highlighted the plight of those who lost money by indulging in betting on horse racing. “Many families have suffered because of this problem. The government, which claims to have zero tolerance towards gambling, appears to be hell-bent on saving MRC,” he added.

The members also alleged that MRC was defrauding the government by evading taxes. “By not paying , MRC is cheating the state exchequer,” they said.

The members opined that a botanical garden at the site of MRC would bolster tourism in the city. “Moreover, the government will be able to earn revenue from the garden,” the vedike members said.

Appealing to chief minister HD Kumaraswamy to ban gambling, Chandrashekar said, “By banning lottery, and arrack when he was CM before, Kumaraswamy showed exemplary courage. He will earn the respect and love of the people if he bans horse racing, since it will put an end to the gambling menace.”

Alleging that MRC was flouting the terms of its agreement with the government, vedike member Suresh Babu said, “By failing to pay taxes, and violating the terms of the agreement, MRC has cheated the government. The public works department (PWD) is aware of these irregularities, but no action has been initiated against the club.”

Babu demanded a thorough probe into the alleged irregularities of MRC, and further called for the club to pay the taxes it rightfully owed the government.

MRC to remove temporary sheds following Mahesh’s diktat

After tourism minister Mahesh instructed officials of MRC to remove some of the temporary sheds installed at the race course, the race course management has decided to dismantle the structures. When Mahesh undertook an inspection of MRC a few days ago, he saw temporary sheds, which he felt were not uniform, and instructed the club to get rid of them.

MRC has around 300 permanent stables, in addition to around six temporary sheds.

MRC president Venkatesh told TOI, “When he was here a few days ago, tourism minister Mahesh instructed us to remove the temporary sheds. They will be removed at the earliest. Based on our requirements, we will obtain permission from the Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) and try to construct these sheds. The minister might have taken the decision with an eye on improving the sheds.”

MCC commissioner KH Jagadish said that the minister had set June 30 as the deadline for dismantling the sheds. “I have directed the concerned assistant commissioner to issue notice to the MRC authorities. The MCC only issues a trade licence, and the rest of the issues are taken care of by the PWD,” Jagadish said.

On Mahesh’s campaign to get the race course shifted out of city limits, Venkatesh said that government officials had convened a meeting to discuss the issue. “We can take any action only after the meeting,” the MRC president said.

The 98-year-old MRC is spread across an area of 139 acres, and was established by the Mysuru maharaja Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar in 1920. A few days ago, Mahesh had proposed to shift the race course 20km away from the city.

On Thursday, MRC was the venue for the International Yoga Day celebrations in the city.

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