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22 Feb 2024, Edition - 3145, Thursday

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The vanishing wayside gardens of ooty



The beautiful wayside gardens which had since yore enhanced its beauty are slowly going to seed on account of misuse and neglect.

Ooty: Long associated with verdancy this hill station which is one of the best known vacation destinations in the country is now wearing a grey and brown look on account of denudation and proliferation of buildings.

Adding to the woes of the town,the beautiful wayside gardens which had since yore enhanced its beauty are slowly going to seed on account of misuse and neglect.

With this transformation becoming a major source of concern to various sections of society, particularly green activists and senior citizens, a view gathering ground here is that whatever remains of such beautiful patches should not only be protected but also improved.

Many old residents regret that the gardens which used to stand out against the landscape are now dwarfed by huge concrete structures which are mushrooming all around them. Some have fallen prey to the designs of encroachers.

They lamented that a beautiful wayside garden on the Government Botanical Garden road which had been taken back from encroachers a few years ago had again become an eyesore.

Indian National Trust for Art, Culture and Heritage (INTACH), the Nilgiris, convenor Geetha Srinivasan told Covai Post that if the wayside gardens were allowed to deteriorate posterity would not forgive the present generation.

Underscoring the need for more such gardens,she said that new places should be identified.She opined that the Fernhill junction,one of the oldest parts of the town was an ideal place to be developed as wayside garden.It can either be maintained by the government or some private institution like a school or a hotel.

Stating that such gardens existed in a state of neglect in about ten places in various parts of town ,the Joint Director of Horticulture N.Mani said that though the department of horticulture off and on helped improve the wayside gardens, owing to want of maintenance they return to their unkempt and shabby appearance within a few days.

Meanwhile observers have appreciated the recent move of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited to improve small patches of land near places like the Collectorate under the Swachh Bharat Mission.

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