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Race Course shifting from CBD - replacement?

Hurrah - Great News - Bangalore Turf Club being shifted.

With every change of Government, shifting of race course was having a 'blow hot, blow cold' affair. Now it looks like (to be seen) it is coming to a logical conclusion.  This 99 acres of prime land is an eye sore for a garden city.  One look from the fly over near Ananda Rao circle reveals how barren the race course land has been converted into, the central portion dug up for housing hundreds of horses in their stables with their top covered with abestos sheets that become extremely hot during sunny days and spew hot air/carbon dioxide thereby creating a hot air syndrome all around the periphery.  

My request to authorities is that before any arbitrary political decision is taken, it would be better to invite citizens to give their suggestions because politicians will be here today and gone tomorrow but it is the people who have to live with what is dished out to them without a vision or a futuristic ambience. This scenario should not be encouraged.  

My suggestions -

(1) out of 99 acres of land, cardon off 80 acres to create a carbon sink/mini organic forest -  plant such species of greenery that uses maximum CO2 that is being spewed in the Central Business District; also other species that produce flowers, fruits and seeds, herbal and aromatic varieties that attract birds, bees, insects and  to make up for the loss of huge rain trees that have been destroyed and uprooted the nests etc., of avion and animal kingdom;

(2) in the rest of the land towards Gandhinagar Flyover near Mahatma Gandhi statue, create underground parking facility and plan a hanging garden over the concrete tops with fountains and greenery.

(3) If feasible, a Heli-pad may be planned to cater to the VVIPs etc., whose visits have been creating chaotic traffic conditions affecting the normal life of the common man.

Others may also like to offer their suggestions. Praja can consider moderating this sensitive issue.

-Vasanthkumar Mysoremath

[Moderator's note: Title was edited, please keep post titles short and brief, thanks.]

idontspam's picture

Nothing sensitive here...

... I second this proposal. As long as atleast 70% is going to be a forest we can put the rest to any other use. Like you mention the greens have to stake claim to this 70% now and start negotiations with the govt. 

Oh wait! this will not happen because the greens are busy fighting the PT system and saving a few trees here and there. Like the saying goes they will miss the forest for the trees

swamy's picture

Karnataka Culture Center!

Why helipad and all, there is jaaga in vidhan-vikas soudha, make it there.

Another park is too much, cubbon park is there only.

Make a modern tourist attraction, a Karnataka Culture Center to showcase Karnataka history - small models of Belur, Hampi etc, IMAX movies to show history (from Satavaahanas to Vijayanagar to Tippu), and tourist landscape (Ghats, Rivers, Falls)

Whole Culture Center should be made in green way, with forest look.

Ultimately, make one fantastic nodale beku place in Bengaluru.

Other idea - School of Planning and Architecture. It is needed.

Nature Preserve

All ideas here - by Vasanth, Swamy can easily be accomodated.

In Bhubaneshwar, a herbal medicinal plant park based on Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's plan was inaugurated with success.

I am sure Shri Vasanth's idea of have a large park with the kind of flora he mentions is appropriate for the CBD.

In addition, we should also contemplate opening Karnataka Culture Centre on the samelines of Dakshin Chitra in Chennai.

A Supreme Court Bench based on our Indian architecture, with emphasis on Karnataka style, should also be inaugurated. Infact the idea of having Supreme Court Benches in all state capitals has been pending for a long time.

This supreme court bench should be grander than the Vikasa Soudha.

But then, i also wish the Bangalore Turf Club very good success in setting up a new Turf in Chickkajala.

I wish they too have an international standard Turf Club. Kingfisher Derby is a well followed event around the world and we should have a Turf Club of International Standards as well. 

School of Urban Planning a must

Perhaps the CiSTUP - Centre for Sustainable Transport and Urbanisation set up in IISc could be shifted to the Race Course in a larger and more expanded campus dedicated to training urban planners, town planners for the needs of the nation.

Having a school of urban planning is critical for our nation and very important for our city. 

Vasanthkumar Mysoremath's picture

Good thoughts but .....

Dear all,

Land in namma Bengaluru is so scarce and unavailable for our future generations.  When we get a chance to retain a little piece/peace of land right in the heart of the CBD, should we think of constructing some monstro-city concrete structures that serves a very meagre percentage of our population? Right now, we owe our existence to three things in this world - air, water & energy. It is our duty to protect and preserve these life saving elements for posterity. Only if we are alive, we can improve the world and the living conditions of the masses. If they are corrupted, polluted and destroyed without concern for the future, then we are failing in our duty to stem the rot that has already set in, in this delicate world of ours.

Think about utilising the Race Course land with these elements in mind.

With due regards and respects to the delicate world we are living in.

- Vasanthkumar Mysoremath

Srivatsava's picture

An Urban forest...

         We need to convert the existing the racecourse land into a urban forest of the future. While I would stress that land along the periphery should be used for civic purposes considering that this place is in the heart of bangalore. A large hospital/Medical college, urbane police station, parking complexes are all fine on the periphery. Also, I would not mind a road cutting across the race course land, but considering the huge loss of trees in the vicinity because of urbanisation issues like road widening and metro, we must ensure that the place is converted into an urban forest, possibly a place of tourist attraction.

         We have had enough of parks, which are basically vast areas of lawns with small shurbs thrown here and there. Say NO to any more park there. All the trees lost for the Metro have to be replaced here.

          BTW, when are we kicking the KSCA out of the city center (I am a cricket lover, but I wouldnt mind going to Kengeri or Nelamangala to watch a cricket match). Or do you think the KSCA is too powerful to be thrown out of the city?

-Srivatsava V

-Srivatsava V


KSCA is quite powerful. They sit on Army Land - imagine that! The lease terms the Army signed with KSCA has been violated and the lease per se is void.

Even with that the KSCA happily squats there. With a vast fleet of bureaucrats, politicians, businessmen in the KSCA, what more can you expect?

Poor BTC on the other hand is at odds with Shri Ramachandra Gowda who wants to ban horse racing. And no body other than Mallya is interested in BTC. 

Vasanthkumar Mysoremath's picture

Let the government first move the BTC - then KSCA.

Why sympathise with 'poor BTC' that is running races with donkeys - sorry - horses with all the mal-adjustments with bookies, riders, owners and making the gullible punters loose their hard earned money and who are addicted to racing?

Cricket was, once upon a time, a gentleman's game. Not any more with all the 20:20 akin to political 20:20 and turning it into a money-minting game with shamelessly auctioning the players as if they are horses?  My preference would be one-day games; but change is the essence of life and I have no qualms.

KSCA land lease agreement has to be re-examined and if it has expired, Army should take it back and use it for establishing a green campus research center with a futuristic ambience and to blend with the serene surroundings of Cubbon Park. 

KSCA stadium is used hardly for about 3 months in a year for first class international matches and the rest of the time, it provides facilities and amenities to society's who is who, page 3 figures, top beaurocrats and influential members of KSCA CLUB that is housed in the premises, membership of which runs into lakhs of rupees, with booze and a panoramic view of the empty stadium.  If this is the object,  it is worth moving it out to outskirts so that its members can enjoy serene atmosphere etc. 

-Vasanthkumar Mysoremath.

idontspam's picture

The forest for the trees

I think we are getting somewhere... KSCA and BTC both need to be pure urban forests with a pond in the middle completely fenced no humans allowed inside. This can be gifted to the people in lieu of cutting trees on the street.

I request people to stop running after trees on the street and go for these big fish. If BBMP is going to widen streets ensure there is space for scientifically planted trees proper variety of trees and pedestrian paths. And, we dont have to speak ill of those sports to kick them out.

s_yajaman's picture

Why no humans?


Don't understand the no-human thinking.  No commercial activity - agree.  But why not a nice walking track around the lake/pond?  Open space is at a premium.  a nice wooded park where people can sit around should be welcome.

Trees on streets - it was 37C yesterday in Bangalore.  See the difference when you drive along Nanda Road vs. say KR Road now.   Can't agree with you on that.  At what point does widening stop?

"If BBMP is going to...".  Yes - if a pig had wings it would fly too.  I would not be as optimistic as you about any tree replanting.  Cutting happens very efficiently.  Then a million excuses bloom (not trees).

If KSCA is fair game so should Kanteerava.  After all National Games is held even less frequently.  I would not be as hasty.   Even Parade grounds to RSA(?) can be made a nice forest area and allow some section for parking!  Once a year RD Parade can happen on Vidhana Veedhi after closing it off for traffic!


Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

idontspam's picture

Green possibilities

why not a nice walking track around the lake/pond? 

You can walk around the forest on seshadri road and race course road (which we should rename after BTC is gone). Maybe you can have a walking track around the periphery.

a nice wooded park where people can sit around should be welcome.

How many times have you used freedom park since it opened?

If KSCA is fair game so should Kanteerava.  After all National Games is held even less frequently.  I would not be as hasty.   Even Parade grounds to RSA(?) can be made a nice forest area and allow some section for parking!  Once a year RD Parade can happen on Vidhana Veedhi after closing it off for traffic!

I agree Kanteerava can move. Parade grounds too. We should thank the army for giving cariappa park which is half of parade grounds. Did we forget the muddy good for nothing wasteland called Palace grounds? 

Once you have all those you can forget the streetside trees and make way for pedestrian walkways, public and private transport.

Maybe I am being too greeny.. i mean greedy

idontspam's picture

Second thoughts

I was looking up google maps in satellite view. What will give you more bang for the tree? These stadiums dont count for much. But, the race course and palace grounds are substantial pockets. The race course can be bigger than parade ground and cariappa park combined.

blrsri's picture

planned garden

 we now have enough developed realestate in blr to last for another 100 years..lets not promote the tallest building etc like ideas..

it would be good if we can have a planned the one behind Seshadri Iyer Library inside cubbon park..the huge traffic island there is very beautiful all thrru the years..

aleast the bbmp can compensate for the papa they have collected for cutting the trees around KR circle!

Srivatsava's picture

Why not a lake??

       Bangalore had hundereds of lakes a few decades back. Infact, the Majestic bus stand was built on one of the largesr lakes of the city. Even to this day, the ground water table in this area is extremely high. You may be surprised that near Briand Square, 1km from the estwhile Dharmaambudhi Lake, ground water gushes out after digging about 5-6ft. 

      In the context of losing ground water table, it is indeed important for us to build a large lake at the existing Race course land. (Thanks s_yajaman for But why not a nice walking track around the lake/pond? ).

      Having a lake in the CBD is the first step we should take before the ambitious BWSSB project of interconnecting lakes to suppply water to the city.


-Srivatsava V

-Srivatsava V

s_yajaman's picture

Not the point IDS

IDS and I should start our own battlefield on this site :)

How many times have I used Freedom park?  Never.  I live 12 km away.  But I have the option to if I want to.   What is the point of having mausoleums inside the city off limit to the public?  For people living in Kumarapark and Seshadripuram, this could be their own LalBagh.

Street side trees - you did not answer my small comment about driving/walking on Nanda Road vs walking on KR Road / Double Road.  Where does road widening stop?  2 lanes were not enough.  soon 3 lanes won't be.  Then 6 lanes of one-way will follow.  And then there will be more widening for 4+4. 


Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

idontspam's picture

SY in Freedom park

Where does road widening stop?

Let me put it this way. If you want to stop widening you will have to stop it on traffic arguments not because we are losing trees. Much as I hate chopping trees we cant stop legitimate widening because trees are going. What is legitimate widening? Traffic projections and comprehensive area planning should decide.

Naveen's picture

Road Widening

Where does road widening stop?

Too much road widening has already taken place & I think it should stop now & all such widening of primary thoroughfares must be reviewed carefully after the Metro is in place, except for those areas where Metro is not touching in the near term. BBMP has earmarked an astonishing 91 roads for widening with the hope that such widening will reduce congestion & streamline traffic, when it is well known that more roads means even more congestion, with invitations for new addition of vehicles to the streets.

Above all, when road widening is being carried out by BBMP, the attention is fully focussed on traffic movement. Not Pedestrians, Not Buses for Public Transport, Not Bicycles.

I would rather they not do any widening at all than widen only for improving tarffic speeds & volumes.

Some trees may be lost for widening, but the way BBMP has been going about is dislodging all of them on a stretch, such as on Seshadri road, which looks barren now. Tree-lined avenues are just as important as urban forests & parks since they provide shade to pedestrians & other road users, such as bicyclists or 2-wheeler users. Also, they assist in keeping temperatures cooler as discussed previously.

Vasanthkumar Mysoremath's picture

Enough parks . right on track.. but no concrete pl..

Majority of the MNCs are housed in monstrous concrete buildings with glass facades that spew CO2. Vast stretch of lands alround have been developed into manicured lawns with grass that is not allowed to grow and a few colourful short term plants that are trimmed very often.   Such kind of greening effort cannot be considered as a social eco initiative towards greening our planet. 

Let them convert their surroundings into mini forests with value added greenery that yield nectar, flowers, fruits and seeds for our flora and fauna and vanishing species of plants and shrubs that have given mankind medicinal value added products like herbal and aromatic plants.  Those mini-forests can act as carbon sinks and keep the electoronic city area cool and healthy in namma Bengaluru.

We have had enough of development in the Garden City. Enough is enough - let us be realistic and make online course corrections to our uncontrolled destruction of flora and fauna, make amends, repent and protect and preserve the natural resources for posterity, lest, our future generations curse us for failure of such fundamental duties and responsibilities.

Last straw: It is reported that Government is tempting BTC with land near BIA - that is why BTC is responding. Watch out - another mega ....coming soon?

- Vasanthkumar Mysoremath 

Vasanthkumar Mysoremath's picture

Race Course-other side story-villagers robbed of water body *$#*

source: dated 12-4-09 page 2...

We, in Praja are discussing and suggesting green ways of using BTC land BUT...

angry residents of 15 villages have decided to protest land allotment that includes their only water body in Chikkajaala/Doddajaala - on BIA road -

Govt. allotment for new race course - old agreement lapses on 31-12-2009 -

105 acres - includes 30 acres of tank bund that surrounds the tank but BTC is asking for nearby land without water body  

15 villages to loose water supply from the only water body around -

increases traffic on BIA road - increase in travel time 

rules not followed -

BTC wants 50 years land lease-seven years tax holiday-

new race course track laying may take 2/3 years -

3 years to build punters stands -

to continue racing in the existing venue till new facility is ready

- What next?


Vasanthkumar Mysoremath's picture

Race Course shifting-Time for Citizens to express ..

Dear All,

Media has reported that

1)   the land lease agreement with BTC is expiring on 31st Dec.2009; no more extension; ultimatum is being issued by Government shortly (B'lore Mirror dated 15-5-09);  

- during 1968 government had given land near Jakkur for shifting BTC but not shifted so far. 

- 100 acres of land near Chikkajala/Doddajala  near BIA - identified by Revenue Dept. - now - and has been accepted by BTC as alternate land for shifting.

Question: What happened to the land handed over to BTC at Jakkur? Is it still with BTC? Having the cake and eating it also?

2)  After shifting - Prajas have been suggesting environmental friendly usage solutions - posts above:

- create a carbon sink - organic mini forest - in 90 per cent of 99 acres of BTC land for reducing carbon footprints in CBD - a protected but with minimum human intervention and for posterity

- an underground multi-layered parking space for easing parking problems in CBD area - 9 acres land facing Janata Dal office since it has many approach roads for easy movement of vehicles 

-  no super structure above ground but set up green hanging gardens, green art marts

-  cottage type green one stop public utility bills payment centers for the benefit of CBD commercial area and for residents of Gandhi Nagar/ Madhavanagar area

3) The temporary politicians are not the real policy makers of State property - it belongs to citizens - they are not and should not be allowed to take policy decisions about the usage of public space since they are in possession of power due to a minority voters rule.

- they are here and gone tomorrow

- look at the bombastic plans announced during Janata Dal 20:20 rule - Bidadi et al projects, 50,000 sites only to be ditched by subsequent temporary politicians

- lot of money spent by outsourcing for project preparations, survey etc., - gone down the drain?

- Time for citizens to make their voices heard - assert for a public opinion poll with alternatives provided

- let the Praja decide.

- Vasanth  Mysoremath 


das's picture

Whatever we do - just let it be green !

Whatever the final idea, let's just aim for GREEN !

Since the project is just being spoken about now, it's time for various citizens' groups (Praja, Hasiru Usiru, the RWAs, all NGOs) to start acting. Force the government to hold proper public consultations, particpate, come up with ideas.

I suggest that this discussion in Praja is restricted to just 3 days, after which we stop wasting electrons, start a project and Work.


idontspam's picture

Green building

It will be a 100 floor building. We can probably get them to paint it green. The funny thing is either a forest or a 100flr building will be unique for us because i am sure we cant build or maintain either properly.

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abidpqa's picture

Limit the size

I think nobody should be allowed to have contiguous land which is larger than a city block. I dont know if the Bangalore has a city block size. AN appropriate city block size could be about 200 meters. That is a there should be a road every 200 meters. If they are shifting the race course what ever that is done should be done with roads every 200 meters or so.

Maybe the military and PSUs cannot follow that now, but should be included in the masterplan and instructed to do so in a stipulated time. Same way private should not be allowed to hold land that blocks construction of roads for more than a city block size that should be determined. May be they should ban gated communities.
Vasanthkumar Mysoremath's picture

Green contiguous land is my birth right...size does not matter..

Abid Bhai

Let us not loose the thread on how to stop misuse of 99 acres of invaluable land under occupation of race course authorities.  Real estate lobby, politicians and many other 'concerned' people have started eyeing the land that rightly belongs to the State and to the people. 

What is this 'city block' about?

Who has prescribed it?

When was it prescribed?

Who is following it?

How many city block roads exist in Lal Bagh or Cubbon Park ?

Your gated community conditions does not apply to birds, bees, butterflies, inspects, wild life that will occupy the organic forest proposed by the Citizens at the Race Course Road.

Remember we have encroached upon their habitat and chased them away, they in turn are invading the human habitats - the organic forest is only a miniscule housing solutions for these endangered species that have been affected due to bio-diverty and climate change. 

- Where have all the sparrows gone from namma Bengaluru? 

What was this city block paradigm doing when lakes were being encroached, valuable greenery was being destroyed?

Please spare us the thoughts.

IDS Sir, your '100 floor building' raised my BP. Pl let me live a little longer. 

- Vasanth Mysoremath

blrpraj's picture

replace it with thick forest like park

The race course should be replaced with a thick forest like park. The only difference should be, we should try to build a manmade lake in the center with a bike/walking trail surrounding the circumfrence of the lake. I did not know the value of a beautiful lake for a long time till I had the fortune to go other cities and experience the beauty and realize the value of well kept lakes accessible to the general public .   

abidpqa's picture

Balanced view

Cities should have roads that is my point. It reduces pollution and actually increases affordability and so on. It creates uniform growth. I mean let us have balance. Let us see the opinion of experts and take the the best option which is most environmentally friendly and people friendly. This city has so many people, their comfort should also be considered. City blocks makes the city enviroment friendly I believe.

Whatever is done it will be done by politicians, but let us have our say.

With regards to lakes and forests, hundreds of lakes have been lost as we all know and has been highlighted in this board too. People just fill up lakes and try to get exemption. Why not have public hearing before lakes are filled up? comment guidelines

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