September 4, 2019
The century-old race course may soon give way for government facilities for public convenience, including a tourist car park which is likely to come up first on 1.6 acres of land.
The 100-year-old heritage Ooty Race Course, located on a sprawling 54-acre piece of land, will soon pave way for a government car park for tourists. As a first step, the Nilgiris district administration has acquired about 1.6 acres for the same. This had been strongly opposed by the Madras Race Club (which manages this course), which filed a case in the Madras High Court appealing against the move.
Before this, a single-judge panel had investigated the case and gave a stay order on the acquisition. But when the district administration attempted to take over 1.6 acres, the MRC filed an appeal in the High Court, which was tried by Chief Justices Kirupagaran and Abdul Quddhoos of the sitting bench. They gave a verdict that the district administration could acquire the entire 54 acres of the Madras Race Club and Horse Racing Club but give them alternative and equal land in Ooty’s suburbs.
The Nilgiris District Collector J Innocent Divya has identified 52 acres in Neduguda village in Kotagiri for the club. The Madras Race Club has agreed to survey the land and give its approval.
Government lawyer Bala Nandakumar said, “Once the Madras Race Club gives its approval, this land will be handed over to them within three weeks.”