Tick Tock…’Clock Tower’ Costing Rs 90 Lakhs Coming Up in City! Do We Really Need One?

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Tick Tock…’Clock Tower’ Costing Rs 90 Lakhs Coming Up in City! Do We Really Need One?

Tick Tock..Tick Tock…’Clock Tower’ Costing Rs 90 Lakhs Coming Up in City! Do We Really Need One?-when the same amount could have been spent on repairing dilapidated roads or fixing bad drainage. Whose money is MCC spending on this project? Taxpayers, unfortunately!

Mangaluru: The work has already started to construct a “Clock Tower” near Town Hall, Mangaluru, which was built in 1968, and then demolished in 1994 in order to widen the road. But why would anyone reconstruct a structure that was demolished years ago- doesn’t make any sense to me. How about you? While everything is going on well along the stretch of this road at present, why even bother to mess it up, while the reconstruction of the Clock Tower starts. Why not use the same funds of this project on the dilapidated 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?

Citizens should raise their voices against this plan by Mayor. Are our Mangaluru City Corporation officials hooked on stupidity or what, to spend a whopping Rs 90 lakhs on the project which don’t serve any purpose to the citizens, other than publicity stunt to the persons who initiated the idea. I do agree a Clock Tower was needed decades ago, when many citizens used the facility to check the time- but now, with everyone having a mobile in their hands/pockets and wrist watches, who would depend on this Clock Tower to check time. Sheer waste of tax payers money, on a project that doesn’t serve the commuters needs.

Sources reveal that it was Mayor Kavitha Sanil’s insistence that this project has been included in the list of works under the smart city project. After the tender for this project was opened on January 15, 2018, and a bid was approved for Rs 90 lakhs as construction cost of this Clock Tower. Mayor’s intention is to make her wish come true that the clock tower is ready before she ends her tenure as Mayor coming March. I very much doubt, that this project will be completed in two months.

This is how the ‘Clock Tower Circle’ looked on 5 January 2018

Incidentally, MLA J R Lobo in October 2013 had mooted the idea of rebuilding the Clock Tower. Lobo, also the former commissioner of MCC had said that the project would help the city reconnect with its past and would be constructed in a manner and location that it would not impede smooth flow of traffic. Lobo, then however had favoured a bold new design for the project and not necessarily stick with the old design.

With the original circle already demolished now, the work is started on the Clock Tower project which will cost the MCC Rs 90 lakh which includes Rs 57 lakh worth civil works. The 75-feet high tower will be a square structure. While the base of the tower up to 30 feet will be of 14 feet in width and it will be reduced to 10 feet thereafter till the top for stability and enhanced looks. The structure will have four circular dials, one each on all four sides. The diameter of the dials will be six feet.

The MCC has invited rates from various watch manufacturers for the dials. It has reserved a budget of a total of Rs 15 lakh for these dials. While the tower will be built of laterite, the roof will be made of tiles. It should be noted that the original clock tower was the gift of M Vaman, proprietor of Vaman Nayak and Sons – manufacturers of mechanical clocks – to the city in 1968, who built it by raising funds from businessmen. The 45-feet high structure had a dial with a circumference of six feet and was made using casting process.

This is how the Clock Tower Circle looks today (30 January 2018)

The clock of the iconic tower was made to function mechanically by means of pendulum and weights. The load, weighing around 10kg, was taken up using windings. The load thus pushed up used to take almost seven days to descend. On the sixth, the weights would then be taken up using pulleys to ensure the clock functioned with zero error. The structure was maintained by the Vaman Nayak and Sons for 26 years until it was demolished for road widening in 1994.

With the ancient clock tower gone with the wind, the citizens of Mangaluru have to wait and watch as to when a new clock tower will relinquish the memories of the old one. Even decade after the only clock tower of Mangalore was pulled down, many Mangaloreans get nostalgic about it and feel that it is a hasty and wrong decision of the district administration to reconstruct the structure once again.Whether Mayor’s wish will come true before she exits her office in March 2018 with this project- we’ll have to keep our fingers crossed and make it believe once the clock tower is complete-and in the meantime some of the corrupt officials will pocket huge some money from this project-like they always do? And that’s all it is with such projects being undertaken. Bah humbug!

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1 Comment

  1. Clock tower was a land mark for our generation. Obviously the city fathers have realised it after demolishing it. Now they are trying to replace it for the future generations to make them feel proud about ‘namma kudla’.
    So what is the objection about?

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