Delegation calls for using HPF premises for proposed medical college

The Hindustan Photo Films building near Udhagamandalam.

The Hindustan Photo Films building near Udhagamandalam.   | Photo Credit: M. Sathyamoorthy


Says this will help avoid axing 2,000 trees to set up the college on a 25-acre site identified by the administration

A delegation consisting of members of various citizens’ groups met Nilgiris District Collector J. Innocent Divya to try and convince the district administration to use the existing infrastructure at the Hindustan Photo Films Manufacturing Company (HPF) for establishing the proposed government medical college and hospital.

The delegation, which included activists, conservationists, former HPF employees and residents of the Nilgiris, explained to the Collector the suitability of the HPF factory for setting up the medical college and hospital. The district administration has identified an alternative site for the purpose, as the HPF factory premises is under litigation.

Liquidation process

N. Mohanraj, a Nilgiris-based conservationist, said the hurdle the district administration faced in using the factory for the purpose was that a court-appointed liquidator was yet to be appointed to sell the defunct factory and 12 acres of land owned by the HPF, to settle the debts accrued by the factory over the years and the claims of former employees. “Without the liquidation process being completed, we have learned that the building cannot be taken over for setting up the college and hospital,” he said.

Shobana Chandrasekar from Namma Nilgiris, a citizens’ collective working on environment-related issues in the Nilgiris, said that the ultimate aim of the delegation was to impress upon the government the need to rethink their proposal to cut down more than 2,000 trees at an alternative 25-acre site, where a new building will have to be built for the college and hospital.

“The Collector explained the reasons for the alternative site being proposed, but agreed that the existing HPF buildings were ideal for the purpose,” said Ms. Chandrasekar, adding that members of the delegation planned to approach the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises with a petition to move the court, calling for a liquidator to be appointed, so the path can be cleared for the college and hospital to be set up in the existing factory buildings.

Other members of the delegation included G.Janardhanan, President of the Ooty Public Awareness Association, Geetha Srinivasan, Convenor of INTACH in the Nilgiris, Godwin Vasanth Bosco, a restoration ecologist and T.B. Bheemaraj, retired general manager of HPF.

“The HPF buildings are ideal for a medical college and hospital to be set up. There is enough space for healthcare infrastructure to be set up and there is a water treatment plant,” said Mr. Bheemaraj.

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 10:49:49 AM |

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