Open areas, which have for long been considered as the lungs of this hill station, should be well guarded and developments, which violate their ethos, should be eschewed.

Underscoring this, the Kotagiri-based Nilgiris Documentation Centre (NDC) has expressed concern over the construction of a toilet on Government Botanical Garden road here. It was thrown open to the public on Friday.

Pointing out that the garden road was one of the most popular walks in this hill station, NDC director Dharmalingam Venugopal has, in a statement issued at Kotagiri, said that the Breeks Ground adjoining the road is a coveted feature of the town and public conveniences should not be put up in such prime locations.

Adverting to the objections raised by the residents when the proposal to construct a stadium on the Breeks ground was mooted over 26 years ago, he opined that agencies such as the Hill Area Development Programme, which fund government schemes, should henceforth incorporate a proviso in projects which would shield pieces of heritage from destruction either knowingly or unknowingly.

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