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31 Oct 2020, Edition - 1936, Saturday

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Coimbatore

Impediments Hamper social distancing in Ooty

D.Radhakrishnan

Udhagamandalam: Fear of corona and lockdown stipulations, notwithstanding, vehicular traffic and movement of pedestrians are steadily rising in this hill station.

While this is making it very difficult to strictly adhere to social distancing norms what is making matters worse are impediments like abandoned vehicles and push carts occupying a sizable part of the roads, pedestrian walks and other public spaces in the town. With repeated representations to the authorities concerned not producing the desired results, the problem is threatening to get out of hand.

A glaring example is the presence of an abandoned tractor in a very congested part of the Court hill on which is located the Collectorate, the District court,the Telephone exchange and the Head post office. Almost covered by wild growth, this dilapidated tractor has been lying there for years together and no one seems to know when or by whom it was left there. Further no one knows which department controls the land on which the vehicle is lying.

Despite being an eyesore, action on getting rid of it, has been conspicuous by its absence for a long time.
The hope of regular users of the stretch is that the district administration would use the opportunity provided by the current crisis created by the pandemic, to clear not only the tractor but also similar eyesores in various other parts of the vacation destination.

Speaking to The Covai Post, a few environmental activists and concerned residents lamented that though Ooty was an internationally renowned tourist resort, public spaces were being occupied with impunity. Pointing out that even storm water channels were not being spared by encroachers, they wondered how such lawlessness was being
allowed to flourish. Driving within the town was fast turning into a nightmarish experience on account of pavement hawkers permanently placing their pushcarts on the roads. At a number of places within the town and outside public spaces were being used as workshops.

They urged the district administration to crackdown on such activities.

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