Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Pune season start in jeopardy

Bath time: Will that continue? That's the question on everyone's mind in Pune where the start of the season may be hit due to water shortage. Read on..... [Pic: RS Gupta]

If you always
thought there was only one way the Pune monsoon racing could be washed out, and that was having incessant and too much rain, think again.

As things stand today, the start to the season, scheduled for July 16th, may be delayed due to NOT having sufficient rain!

I was in Pune last Thursday, and that was the first day the track maintenance department was forced NOT to water the track.

Reason? The obvious one. Water shortage situation that threatened to get more serious if it did not rain quickly. And the news over the last four days is depressing.

It has not really rained since then, barring odd showers here and there, but the catchment areas that collect rain water for city's future consumption are still waiting for their levels to rise. The scene is so bad, the Pune municipal corporation has already imposed cut even in drinking water supply.

At the moment, the RWITC authorities are trying to cope with the situation by watering the track on alternate days, and have ensured that the stables get their full quota for horses. But if the situation does not improve fast, there is a strong likelihood of the season's start getting postponed.

The cloud of uncetainty hanging over the start can only be dispelled by clouds carrying water in their belly. It is ironical only dark clouds can now bring in a silver lining.


"We can start on time if things don't get worse": B Nanjappa

Postscript: I just spoke to Mr B Nanjappa, Clerk of the Course, RWITC, who is in charge of the Pune racetrack maintenance. Here are excerpts from the telephonic interview:

PG: According to you, how serious is the situation?
BN: The situation is definitely alarming. The irrigation department has shut down our main resource of water, so that's obviously a very big setback. However, we have taken some steps, and I can categorically say that even if the situation does not improve, racing can start on the scheduled date.

PG: What kind of steps?
BN: Measures like resorting to borewell water. We have already started doing it, and we are using it conservatively. The horses will get their full quota of water, but there may be some other compromises. Like we are watering the track on alternate days. Also, today I have advised trainers to restrict fast work to only three days in a week--Tuesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays. When racing starts, we may also have to put up with a somewhat firm track, you know the kind that may throw up dust in some places.

PG: Do you have any other worries?
BN: Racing can start on time if things don't get worse, but then ultimately we are at the mercy of the rain Gods anyway. Because the borewell water stocks may deplete fast. We just hope the rain signs in before that happens.


  1. Thats bad news. Someone must check horse racings kundali. Why are we getting only badnews since last june?

  2. Why is club not telling there may be problem. There are people who book hotels for full season. There is nothing on rwitc website.

  3. I don't think horse owners are going to be happy with the idea of bore water & clouds of dust.

  4. inncocent lurkerJul 7, 2009, 9:52:00 PM

    If a man like nanajappa is giving guarantee that racing will start on time i think gosavi you should have put it on top and not as postscript. I will lose respect for you. Don't be a rumour monger.

  5. Dear PMK,
    If YOU have booked a hotel room for the 16th, Nanjappa's words will come as solace to you (read postscript).

    Dear one of them,
    I disagree with you. I don't think horse owners are in a position to really mind as long as their horses can run and hope to earn some stakes money. Look at Bangalore, some of them may have to chuck their cars and go to office on horseback--at least, you will agree it makes more economic sense especially when petrol prices have recently gone up.

    Dear Innocent lurker,
    I have appreciated some of your comments in the past and was wondering if you were still lurking or gone off this blog. Happy to see you surface once again. By the way, just to make sense chronologically, I put Nanjappa's interveiw as PS. And even HE says races will start on schedule only IF THINGS DON"T GET WORSE, and admits the situation is DEFINITELY ALARMING, so where is the question of rumour mongering?

    Prakash Gosavi


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