Dept to barricade Tipu’s Drop

Tippu drop at Nandi hills, near Bengaluru. DH Photo

Concerned by the rising suicides, the horticulture department has decided to barricade Tipu’s Drop at Nandi Hills, which offers the most exhilarating view down the hill.

It would put up a 10-foot grill and a roof, even as officials began restricting individuals from getting on top of the hills. They are allowed only after verification of their identity proof and family details.

Speaking to DH, special officer at Nandi Hills N Ramesh said the department would put up a roof in a 75-feet area. Decision to this effect was made after an alarming increase in the number of suicides. On March 15, a man fell off Tipu’s Drop and died.

“The police took about 10 hours to locate his body, and seven hours to bring his body from the area. There is a lot of negativity in the area and so, we have decided to barricade the place, at a cost of Rs 25 lakh,” Ramesh said.

In February, an individual was sent back over suspicion that he wanted to get to the hills to commit suicide. The person went to the 36th carve and hung himself.

With tourist footfall at Nandi Hills touching 10,000 during weekends and the number of vehicles nearing 3,000, the department has also written to the police for additional deployment to control the tourists. Currently, there are only two to three policemen being deployed at the hills.

Ramesh pointed out that the tourist numbers are reaching saturation as the hills lure more than one lakh visitors a month.

While the department is stretching its resources to the utmost to manage the visitors, there is an urgent need to upgrade its infrastructure and personnel, he said.

As part of its plan for a complete makeover, the tourism department has taken two acres from the horticulture department to set up a parking lot, while the construction of a ‘fun world’ for children and a food court are also under way.

The technical staff is surveying the place to identify the spot to build a cable car from Karehalli to Nandi Hills to bring an international flavor to the area. The horticulture department has written to the tourism department to provide electrical buses from the parking lot to the hills, while also asking visitors to make the place a plastic-free zone.

The special officer said income to the horticulture department from Nandi Hills has increased to Rs 2.30 crore per annum from visitors, parking and room bookings.

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