Finally, The ‘World’s Most Expensive Clock Tower’ to be Launched Soon in the City ?
Mangaluru : There might be A Most Expensive Clock Tower somewhere else in a City around the world, but for us Mangaloreans, when we look at the amount of Rs 1 crore plus spent on this Clock Tower in the City, surely seems like it is the Most Expensive Clock Tower in the World? Were our Mangaluru City Corporation officials hooked on stupidity or what to spend over Rs 1 crore of tax-payers money to reconstruct a “Clock Tower” near Town Hall in the City, which was demolished two decades ago to make way for smooth flow of traffic. While everything was going on well along the stretch of this road, why even did the former MCC Mayor Kavitha Sanil along with MCC Commissioner Mohammed Nazeer bother to rebuild a Clock Tower, which is once again creating a mess- putting motorists in inconveniences and also the citizens.
The Old Clock Tower which was demolished in the 90’s
The same funds putting of this silly project could have been used to rectify the bunch of dilapidated/potholed roads which are need of the hour. Only people with no common sense would come up such a project- what’s the point in making city look Smart this way? The amount of time taken for this project to come up, looks like a another Eiffel Tower is coming up in Mangaluru? I had always appreciated the works done by former MCC Mayor Kavitha Sanil, from her raids on massage parlours and other illegal activities places, but her decision on constructing this Clock Tower, has my dislike towards her. This project is one of the biggest blunder created by her during her tenure as Mayor.
Who needs a Clock Tower these days, when everyone is having mobile phones, even the kids, and even the beggars- and also everyone having a wrist watches- then who the heck will look at this clock tower for the Time- and also that the structure is too high- you may even develop neck pain looking at clock?
Sources reveal that The Mangalore Smart City Limited (MSCL) had bypassed its project management consultant (PMC) and outsourced the building concept and design. The move was taken in a hurry to implement the Clock Tower Circle at the original place, where the heritage clock tower had stood till 1994. The outsourcing was done to city-based Infrastructure Development Foundation (IDF). “The step was taken Although Wadia Techno Engineering Services Limited has been engaged as consultant for MSCL,’’ informs consulting civil engineer and a Aam Admi Party (AAP) supporter, Er Rajendra Kumar, who obtained the information under RTI. Initial plan The information also revealed that the Clock Tower was initially planned in the park located next to the Town Hall. “Interestingly, the tenders were floated for the project even before the design was submitted,’’ informs Rajendra.
Seen in the photo L-R : M Siddanth Nayak and M Satish Chandra Nayak-the Proprietors of ‘Nayak Times’
Long back, when IDF Consultant Dharmaraj was contacted, he had confirmed that the Clock Tower was initially planned within the park… Years ago, at the request of the Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC), he had submitted two designs representing the Clock Tower in colonial and traditional architectures. MCC decision “A design depicting the Clock Tower in traditional architecture was selected but the project was kept in abeyance due to lack of funds. Then City Corporation Mayor Kavitha Sanil and Commissioner Mohammed Nazir decided to implement Clock Tower project under the Smart City mission. During the inspection of spot, it was MCC Commissioner Nazeer who insisted on relocating the Clock Tower as it would not be visible from the park,’’ he had said.
And now this nearly Rs 1 crore plus project, may even go up more in expenses, due to the delay. But no one cares, since it is public money, right ? That’s the theme for everything undertaken at taxpayers’ expense in the state, for that matter, even in cities like Mangaluru, from walkways for pedestrians, new roads for motorists- but unfortunately none of these projects are done right. Crores going down the drain – sorry, I meant going into contractors’, corporators and politicians pockets – with no accountability for proper upkeep, or maintenance, or supervision. Sometimes newly built projects are demolished, because they served no purpose. Similarly could be the fate of this upcoming Clock Tower-where it enriches two sets of contractors, on for building and another for demolishing.
You call this governance? Do we have a city administration at all, where someone takes responsibility? Do administrators ever walk around, ever mingle in the crowds to see what life is like for the average resident? Commissioners come and commissioners go, the ‘body’ remains the same – a den of corruption – as former Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde once remarked. We, the hapless residents, cover our noses and mouths – literally and figuratively, and step gingerly and go about our daily business as best as we can. Groaning, or sometimes just switching off. Looking and thinking of this Clock Tower, which is awaiting its fate!.
Because we don’t have either the time, or the energy. And the authorities bank on that sad truth. That is the tragedy of today’s Mangaluru. That those who should be answerable, get away with impunity. And this clock tower project was former mayor Kavitha’s decision, who wanted to make her wish come true that the clock tower was ready before her tenure ended, but it never happened. But finally, after two years or so, the Clock Tower is in its final stages, and could be inaugurated in the next few days. Now that the Clock Tower is all set to roll, here is what M Satish Chandra Nayak and his son M Siddanth Nayak-the Proprietors of Nayak Times, who were on top of the world as they started the process of installation of the four faced 88-inch dial on the 75-foot tower, located in the heart of the City.
Even though the Nayak’s family was deeply saddened when the First Clock Tower in Mangaluru was demolished in the 90’s, but they are happy to be associated with this new clock tower. “My father has been excited ever since the administration approached us with this proposal, a project which is under the Smart City Development projects” said Siddanth to media. Also speaking Siddanth’s dad, Chandra Nayak said, “It is a s micro-processor based minute impulse control clock, exclusively used for outdoor and indoor displays. It is probably the biggest clock with an 88 inch dial”.
“The old clock tower which was demolished was 45 feet high, but the present one is 75 feet in height. The new clock was built at our factory in Jeppu, while the motor and the controller were imported from Italy. It is an all-weather clock with LED back-light and is maintenance free. It has an hourly striking feature that is attached to a 150 watt amplifier, so that the sound can be heard up to 50 metres from the tower.We are privileged to get back the clock tower at the same spot and continue the family legacy. Our family has been in the business or rather a passion of timekeeping since 1939, where my dad Late Vaman Nayak who started the business in that year ” had said Chandra Nayak.
Like it or not, the Clock Tower will soon be inaugurated, and then you can depend on the Clock Tower for the time, instead of your wrist watches or mobile phones?