OOTY: While the Guinness Park at Kuruthukuli village near here has turned 17 now, the park which entered Guinness record books for planting of more number of saplings in 24 hours time in June 2002, is in utterly neglected state now. The withering trees testify to official apathy, neglect.
Envisioned and motivated by Ms Supriya Sahoo, then Collector of Nilgiris in 2002, over 300 volunteers braved the odds and harsh monsoon rains and planted 42,184 tree saplings within 24 hours that began on 23-6-2002 evening 5 pm and concluded on 24-6-2002 by 5 pm on a sprawling 80.79 acres of land.
This achievement made Nilgiris to find its way into Guinness World records. The effort was made to commemorate the International Year of Mountains observed in 2002.
While this is the history, the situation at the Guinness park now is pathetic. Due to non-maintenance, most of the saplings failed to take root and some of the grown-up trees withered over the decade. Though the land belongs to the Animal Husbandry department, it was the Forest department which initially maintained the park.
But over the years due to ownership row, the land which houses the Guinness park, was hand back to the Animal Husbandry department as the land was not officially transferred to the Forest department.
When Modern Nilgiris is celebrating its Bicentenary now, the Nilgiris district administration should show a renewed interest in rejuvenating and reshaping this park by planting more trees to make it an arboretum (tree park) to promote rural tourism in Kuruthukuli limits, urge greens here....