Padinjarethalakal Cherian Alexander (1921–2011) was an Indian Administrative Service officer of 1948 batch who served as the Governor of Tamil Nadu from 1988 to 1990 and as the Governor of Maharashtra from 1993 to 2002. He was considered as a candidate for the post of the President of India in 2002. He was also a member of the Rajya Sabha from 2002 to 2008.
His career included extended stints with the United Nations and India’s Ministry of Commerce and his high-profile appointment as the powerful Principal Secretary to the late Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi. He also served as the Indian High Commissioner to the Court of St. James’s.
The role of Governor Dr. P.C. Alexander in the conservation of the Nilgiris stands out because he played a decisive role in checking the unprecedented degradation of Nilgiris during the late 1980s.
During his tenure as Governor of Tamilnadu under President’s Rule in 1988, he spared enough time and attention to the Nilgiris. On public demand, he prevented a private factory mindlessly putting up a unit in the present Elephant corridor in Gudalur. He presided over the historic Save Nilgiris Run in 1988 and declared, ‘Nilgiris shall be saved and will be saved’.
It was during Dr. P.C’s period initiatives were taken for the Master Plan for Nilgiris and the Hill Area Conservation Authority for the state. The Hills Area Development Programme in the district was also streamlined during his time.
Just before leaving Tamil Nadu in 1991, he specially made a day’s visit to Ooty to declare open the exhibition ‘Nilgiris Then and Now’. During his speech he announced a reward of Rs.3000 from the Governor’s discretionary fund to the Save Nilgiris Campaign for its good work in the district.
Nilgiri Documentation Centre