Special Correspondent

Udhagamandalam: The Kotagiri Citizens Forum has expressed serious concern over the mounting civic problems in the hill station.

Pointing out that on the one hand chronic problems were being neglected despite repeated representations to the civic administration and on the other fresh problems were cropping up, the Honorary Secretary of the Forum, Yasmin Z. Kothavala, regretted that the authorities concerned were getting their priorities mixed up.

Adverting to an announcement made recently that steps would be taken to bring into being a new garden in Kotagiri, she told The Hindu that the authorities should instead focus on improving the existing civic amenities.

Gardens

Stating that for its size and location Kotagiri already had enough gardens, she said that development and conservation should go hand in hand. While evolving schemes for Kotagiri the authorities should not go by general norms.

Stating that the hill stations unique characteristics should be taken into consideration while drawing plans, she said that schemes implemented now should not end up being counter productive in the long run.

To a query, Ms. Kothavala said that the forum comprised civic minded persons who worked for the betterment of Kotagiri and its people. It acted as a bridge between the people and the administration and forwarded complaints only after verifying their veracity.

Pointing out that it had recently used the Right to Information Act to get answers to various issues from the Kotagiri Town Panchayat, she said, we are determined to preserve the unique qualities of Kotagiri.

Though the taxes have been hiked and the government allocation to the panchayat has been increased, the benefits extended to the people in the form of better maintenance of civic amenities was not commensurate.

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