‘Chosen site unsuitable for medical college and hospital’

The Nilgiri Documentation Center (NDC) has stated that the site chosen by the district administration for the setting up of the government medical college and hospital in the Nilgiris is not conducive for the purpose.


Venugopal Dharmalingam, honorary director of the NDC, said “While the medical college is a boon to the Nilgiris, the success of the college will depend on the site chosen to establish it. The location chosen should be in a relatively warmer area with convenient approachability from all parts of the district as well as easier connectivity with Mettupalayam and Coimbatore for complementary and advanced treatment.”

The site chosen now does not appear to meet these requirements, the honorary director said.

The site, adjoining the golf club, lacks easy and convenient access, and was one of the coldest in the district.

‘Violation of sentiments’

“One reason why most projects on the Wenlock Downs failed or were constantly beset by problems could be the violation of the sentiments and beliefs of the indigenous people.

According to the ‘Badaga – English Dictionary,’ Malladu or Wenlock Downs, the name of the extensive tract of hills and grazing land on the Nilgiri massif, stretching some 20 km west of Ootacamund, is the path of the souls after death”, Mr. Venugopal said.

“Nilgiris indigenous communities including the Todas and Badagas believe their souls after death reside in the western part of the Nilgiris. That is why no habitation was ever established west of Nanjanad. Therefore, it may be unwise to locate a life-giving hospital and college in what may be considered an inauspicious location in the district,” he added.

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