Pune: Controversy Erupts as Moshi Ground Leased for Horse Riding Despite Local Opposition

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Chikhali, 25th October 2023 – The River Residency Ground in Chikhali, has become the epicentre of a community dispute after the local administration decided to lease the ground to a private organization for horse riding, a move that has garnered significant local opposition. The controversial inauguration of the ground by Commissioner Shekhar Singh has sparked displeasure among residents.

The River Residency Ground held a unique significance in the lives of local sports enthusiasts and children in the Moshi area. It was the last available ground for the various societies in the region to nurture physical fitness and promote sports among the younger generation. Unfortunately, the decision to lease it to private individuals for horse riding occurred without prior notice or consultation with the local community.

Approximately 500 to 700 players from various societies and numerous other local communities frequented this ground every day. It served as a venue for numerous major tournaments throughout the year, providing a significant space for sports and recreation.

Residents have expressed their dismay over the administration’s abrupt decision, viewing it as a blatant effort to curtail their access to the ground, which has traditionally been a hub for sports and leisure activities. The local community contends that horse riding, often perceived as a sport favoured by the affluent, is an inappropriate use for the ground.

Adding to the discontent, it has been reported that the private organization has set a fee of Rs. 8,000 for students to access the ground for horse riding. This pricing structure is seen as exorbitant and unaffordable for many in the community.

Despite the vocal opposition from local residents, the administration proceeded with the leasing of the ground for horse riding, culminating in its official inauguration by Commissioner Shekhar Singh. This development has elicited anger and frustration among citizens who had long cherished the River Residency Ground as a vital space for community engagement and physical activities.


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