MCC Could have Built 100 Low Cost Houses for the Poor Rather than this USELESS Clock Tower?

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MCC Could have Built 100 Low Cost Houses for the Poor Rather than this USELESS Clock Tower?

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, including former MCC Mayor Ms Kavitha Sanil, 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 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- and the Traffic Cops are totally unhappy with this structure!

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, or they could have used the same funds to construct at least a 100 low-cost houses for the poor. 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, seemed like a another Eiffel Tower was 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, and the MCC in particular

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? Team Mangalorean had taken opinions from a few citizens passing by this Clock Tower on Wednesday- and believe me or not, not even a single person said anything good about this structure. “Who needs a Clock Tower for time, when my sleek smartphone is handy” said a middle-aged woman. When a street beggar was asked sleeping in front of Town hall, whether the Clock Tower helps him to find check time, he said,”I use my mobile phone for that?”. So, in what sense is this Clock tower beneficial to anyone?

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.

Long back, when IDF Consultant Er 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 the Rs 1 crore plus Clock Tower stands right in the middle of a busy road, which doesn’t serve a single purpose, rather than creating traffic chaos. But did anyone cared, when the project would cost such huge some of money? Why would they, after they used the tax-payers money! 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 Santhosh 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, what will be its fate, sooner or later?.

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 Sanil’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 couple of years or so, the Clock Tower is Complete, but totally USELESS.

Now that the Clock Tower has four faced 88-inch dials on the 75-foot tower, whichever side of the road you are, how many of you depend on the Clock Tower for the time, instead of your wrist watches or mobile phones? The answer would be “NONE”?

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