Ooty: As the Madras High Court stayed works related to establishing Meadow Garden over a stretch of 80 acres in the Shootingmund area along the northern side of the Ooty-Mysuru NH here on ecological grounds, officials here may cite eco-tourism, wildlife tourism in the forests to get the nod for creating a ‘Meadow Garden’.
Official sources here said that the garden is proposed in the Shootingmund area, 15-km off the hill town, and 80 acres of revenue land have been identified to be handed over to the Horticulture department. They added that a private petitioner in this case expressed concern over the possible degradation of the grassland and its environs if the garden is to come up there. The petitioner also mentioned that it is an area with good wildlife movement.
"The idea to create the Meadow Garden is to develop a new era garden with eco-tourism touch to help tourists enjoy and experience a meadow walk in the undulating grasslands. Only some flowers sapling will be planted there to pep up the ambience. Opposite the proposed site, on the southern side of the Ooty-Mysuru NH, the forest department is running eco-tourism in the grassland in their control where even horse rides are allowed. Moreover, in very recent times, the forest department itself started eco-tourism in reserve forest areas like Avalanchee, Cairn hill and in the buffer zone area of the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve.
Tourism has been a long-term project in the MTR woods as well as in Dodabetta peak which is located in the reserve forest area.
This apart a huge area of grassland in Ooty was leased by the forest department to a private concern to promote golf, official sources pointed out and added that since tourism is allowed inside the woods in Nilgiris, a report on this regard will be submitted to the high court to get the necessary approval for creation of the ‘Meadow Garden’....