OOTY: Voices of assent and dissent have emerged on the proposed project on creating parking space in the race course here run by the Madras Race Club (MRC).
Stating that the urgent requirement is about four to five acres of land in the 55 acres race course in the arterial part of the town here, Mr.R. Ganesh (Congress), the MLA of Ooty, who had been vociferous on creating parking facility in race course to accommodate vehicles due to rising volume of traffic to this hill town, said that he spoke about this in the Assembly earlier. Now, Ms. J. Innocent Divya, collector of the Nilgiris, showed the will and determination to acquire the land from MRC to create multi-storey parking facility there, he pointed.
"Allotting alternate site for the race course may take more time. Now, what is needed is to acquire 1.75 acres in the Northeast corner of the race course near the ATC bus stop and the rest of around two acres near the south-west portion of the race course near the central bus stand. The Nilgiris district administration should immediately acquire these lands to go ahead with the creation of parking facility," Mr. Ganesh added.
Rohit Jain, former President of the Citizens' Forum of Ooty, noted that race course on its northern side to a stretch of 1 km was shrunk for widening the Kodapamund channel after 1977 floods. The space on its north-east part is used to erect temporary stables during the summer. So, the MRC can allot this without any objection, he noted.
However, striking a contrary note, Mr. G. Janardhanan, president of the Ooty Town Public Awareness Association, said that race course is the only remnant of the rich wetland eco-system within the town limits. When voices are growing for wetland conservation, converting the part of race course into parking lot is unacceptable. The administration can look for other options, including erecting a parking space above the municipal market where lot of air space is available, he reasoned....