Chennai: Will the Madras Race Club, conducting horse racing, situated in Ooty be shifted from the existing place to any other area? The Madras high court has made a suggestion to the Nilgiris district collector to offer an alternate accommodation on the outskirts of Ooty or anywhere in Ooty to the Madras Race Club, presently situated at the centre of Ooty.
A division bench comprising Justices N.Kirubakaran and Abdul Quddhose made the suggestion while hearing an appeal from the Madras Race Club (MRC) against an order of a single judge, which dismissed the petition from MRC challenging the showcause notice issued by the Nilgiris district collector calling upon the MRC to hand over 4 acres of land out of 52.34 acres at Udhagamandalam for the purpose of creating a parking area in the said 4 acres of land.
The bench said the showcause notice has been issued as the district administration has been facing a lot of problems for parking the vehicles as more than 35 lakh tourist visit the place and around 2 lakhs vehicles arrive in Ooty. Since there is no parking facility available in Ooty, the vehicles are parked on the roadside resulting in traffic jam and accidents, thereby affecting the common man. When the showcause notice was challenged before the single judge, the petition was dismissed with a cost of `50,000. The order was under challenge before this court, the bench added.
The bench said when the matter was called before this court on July 17, 2019, Innocent Divya, collector of Nilgiris district was present before this court and this court suggested the collector to take over the entire 54 acres of land located in the centre of Ooty for public purpose and offer an equal extent of land on the outskirts of Ooty or anywhere in the Nilgiris district. The district collector submitted that she would make a survey and file a report on the next hearing.
Parthasarathy, counsel for MRC, also sought time to get instructions from his client regarding the shifting of the club to an alternate place, the bench added.
The bench said on July 25, when the case came up for hearing, the district collector submitted that only 20 acres of land was available as on date. Hence, this court suggested to the district collector for identifying any other area for alternate accommodation and if no such extent of land was found, they may also consider leveling the area, if possible, so that 54 acres of alternate accommodation was given to the MRC and thereby facilitating the district administration to utilize the entire 54 acres available in the centre of the town to safeguard the interest of the public. In this regard, both the MRC and the district collector undertakes to make another survey and file a report, the bench added.