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Work on ‘Roundabout’ at Clock Tower STOPPED as Traffic Police Raise Objections of Congestion

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Work on Roundabout at Clock Tower STOPPED as Traffic Police have Raised Objections, since it is larger than the Existing Circle, which will create traffic Congestion/Chaos

Mangaluru: If you are still wondering why our elected representatives/leaders are always late for programmes, or for that matter, even the employees at government offices are also late to work- guess what? They have been going by the time as shown on the ‘CLOCK’ on the ‘CLOCK TOWER’ , which has STOPPED working for the last 2-3 weeks, and still not fixed. That was on the lighter side of vein! This is the FIFTH time that this clock has stopped working since its inception in November 2029. Just imagine a nearly Rs 70 lakhs spent on this clock tower, and already the Clock has malfunctioned FIVE times, and now showing FOUR different TIMES on FOUR Different CLOCKS?

Even if you buy a cheap watch or a small clock from any City’s street vendors at a low price between Rs 150-Rs 300, they will work perfectly showing the exact item, till they run out of battery power- but here we have an EXPENSIVE Clock installed on the New Clock Tower in the City, not long ago, and has clonked since 2-3 weeks. Mangaluru City got back its clock tower after twenty-five years since the iconic Clock Tower was demolished. Four huge clocks with ultra-modern digital movements with illuminated dial and classical numbering and hands installed in the newly built clock tower at the same site where the old Clock Tower existed. The clocks were devised and fabricated by the family of the master horologist Ms Nayak’s and Co. who have been manufacturing clocks since 1939. The city had no clock tower of its own since the old clock tower was brought down more than 25 years back. Unfortunately, all four clocks have stopped working, even today. For more details click on this earlier article link: Clock on the Rs 1 Cr Clock Tower has STOPPED Working for 5th Time, Showing FOUR Different Times?

Even though nearly Rs 70 lakhs taxpayers money was spent on the Clock Tower, the spending on this project has not STOPPED since Mangaluru Smart City Limited is adding a Circle/Roundabout at the bottom of the Clock Tower- which means few more taxpayers money will be spent. And as we all know about Mangaluru City Corporation Consultant/IDF, Dharmaraj who is genius in planning/constructing MEGA Circles in the City, and after a while, the mega circles are sliced to a smaller size- and such similar case has been with the Mega ‘ROUNDABOUT’ that is getting constructed now. And this Roundabout at clock tower has kicked up controversy again as the Traffic Police have raised objections to the Traffic Engineered roundabout designed by the MCC consultants, including Dharmaraj?

The Crux of the problem lies in the fact that all around the proposed area indiscriminate/paid parking is allowed and this presents a picture of congestion. A high powered delegation led by the Mayor Diwakar Pandeshwar, Standing Committee Chairpersons, Corporation Commissioner Akshy Sridhar, Managing Director of Mangaluru Smart City Ltd (MSCL) Mohammed Nazeer, and Er Arun Prabha ( GM-Tech at MSCL), ACP’s Nataraj and Vinay Gaonkar, other higher police officials, Corporators, Corporation and Smart City officials, among others, related to the work inspected the site to understand the plans, on 24 September around noon time. The Corporation Consultant/IDF Dharmaraj explained the proposed design in full details. However, the elected representatives’ objection was that there were a lot of complaints from the public regarding the work taken up, also that the Traffic Police were objecting to the idea that a larger than the existing circle would inconvenience the public with congestion. Therefore, the ongoing work on this project has stopped for two days.

However, Dharmaraj explained that adequate space was available, which was demonstrated by site measurements and he also emphasised on the lane movements. After prolonged deliberations, it was agreed that once all the widening takes place at the junction the consultants’ plan will work as desired. Even without the present Roundabout that is planned, the space taken by the Clock Tower results in traffic congestion, during peak hours, since the stretch of the road from Hampankatta to State Bank and opposite direction sees heavy traffic. In the interim the Smart City has been instructed to concretise the roundabout area, the two smaller circles binding the clock tower will be completely developed as per the plans. Only the outer circle completing the entire development will be provided at the completion of all related works as per the detailed, traffic engineering backed details.

MCC Commissioner Akshy Sridhar, Mayor Diwakar and both ACP’s Nataraj and Gaonkar have urged the Corporation Consultant to hurry up with the change of plans and expedite the work as soon as possible, in order to prevent Traffic chaos and inconveniences to the commuters- which was agreed mutually by all of them. And regarding the non-functioning four clocks, it is learnt that they will be fixed after the surrounding work is done, which will have a mini garden, with a small bridge as a passage to enter the clock tower. Following the inspection at the Clock Tower, all these officials went to the spot where a century-old-well was located a few days ago, to decide on the future of the well- and it was tentatively planned to have a small wall surrounding the well, without any obstruction to the traffic or commuters.

While Mangaluru City Corporation has given a big push to the revival of the clock tower at a cost of nearly Rs 70 lakhs and is still spending more for its extreme-makeover, being part of the ‘Smart City’ project, the citizens of Mangaluru city wonder how Mangaluru City Corporation could spend such a huge amount for a clock when much important development works like roads, drainage systems, footpaths are pending. And now, the all-new Clock of the New Clock Tower is not working- not for the FIRST time, but for the FIFTH Time since its inception, not long ago. Who is to be blamed? Or who cares?

There might be A Most Expensive Clock Tower somewhere else in a City around the world, but for us Mangaloreans, when we look at such a BIG amount spent on this Clock Tower in the City, seems like it is the “Most Expensive Clock Tower in the World”? Were our Mangaluru City Corporation officials, including the then MCC Mayor Mrs Kavitha Sanil, hooked on stupidity or what,  to spend such large amount 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.

Critics say that the same funds spent on this silly project could have been used to rectify the bunch of dilapidated/potholed roads which are the need of the hour. Only people with no common sense would come up with such a project- what’s the point in making the City look Smart this way? The amount of time which was taken for this project to come up, looked like one more Eiffel Tower came up in Mangaluru? This project is one of the biggest blunder created by our former Mayor, during her tenure. 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 the clock?

Do 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. 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.

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1 Comment

  1. It’s awful even to think about these issues. Look at the apathy. Why MCC or the concerned authorities take so long to complete road works? Why the concerned authorities are trying to hush up the matter about this most expensive clock in the town. It’s a shame on our Systems. They are busy with work that is not relevant to them. Busy lobbying about roads name change. Here are tax paying citizens living in hope for a better tomorrow.
    Now wait and watch, blame game will start in few days about it.

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