The present status of Adam's Fountain at Charring Cross in Ooty. (Photo: DC)
Ooty: Voices have begun to grow stronger to conserve the 132-year-old ‘Adam's Fountain’ here in the Charing Cross area, the gateway to Ooty, with the local MLA also joining the issue. Heritage lovers said that the plan to modify the space around the fountain to handle traffic is against the Antiquities and Art Treasures Act. The issue began to hot up after the Nilgiris collector held a public hearing on it on Monday.
‘Adam's Fountain’ is a British legacy and a cherished heritage monument of Ooty. For over a century it has reflected the architecture magnificence of the 19th century. The present proposal mooted by the police department is to chop a triangular garden which houses the fountain, to provide more space for vehicular traffic on the Commercial road-Charing Cross junction. This has triggered public anger.
Mr. Murali Rambha, SP of Nilgiris, who showed his prowess in dealing with law and order and Maoists, appears to be heading for a showdown with conservationists and historians over his department's plan on modifications to the fountain.
Stating that ‘Adam's Fountain’ and the triangular garden around it should be conserved as it is, without any disturbance or change, Mr. R. Ganesh (Congress), Ooty MLA, said that the Nilgiris district administration should not act against the sentiments of hill residents and the heritage culture of the hills. He said that he was ready to fight along with the people to conserve the fountain and its garden in its original glory.
Shri. Dharmalingam Venugopal, director of the Nilgiris Documentation Centre, said as the ‘Adam's Fountain’ that is more than 130 years old, any damage to it or change to the garden around it could amount to a violation of the ‘Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972’.