Even decades after the only clock tower of Mangalore was pulled down, Mangaloreans get nostalgic about it and feel that it was a hasty and wrong decision of the district administration to do so.
Despite efforts from various quarters to get the tower rebuilt going in vain, the Clock Tower still continues to live in the hearts of the people. The place where it once stood majestically might be empty but it is addressed as Clock Tower even today.
Sixteen years after this monument was demolished, MCC now seems to be conscious about the significance of the clock tower as it is making efforts to build the Tower again.
Addressing City Herald, Mangalore City Corporation Commissioner Dr K N Vijayprakash said that Corporation is contemplating to conduct a national-level competition for architects and designers to design the clock tower.
“The only thing we are particular about is the look of the tower. It has to be classy and elegant but yet portray the local culture and tradition,” says Municipal Commissioner adding that though an advertisement was published asking architects to send in designs for the tower, the Corporation received no response. Hence, this time Corporation has planned to hold the competition at a larger scale, giving wider publicity to the event.
Dr Vijayprakash says that if all falls in place, then the competition will be conducted in 3 to 4 months. “Guidelines for the competition are ready. Even the architects would need time to prepare the designs. The designs sent in will be shortlisted by a panel. Since it is a prolonged proceedure, the competition will be held only after 3-4 months,” he said.
“The competition will be first of its kind as so far no competitions have been held for idea generation while undertaking public work,” says the Municipal Commissioner adding that the Corporation has decided to construct the tower at Gandhi Park near Town Hall as against the initial plan of building the tower at its last location.
Dr Vijayprakash says that the problem in building the Tower in Gandhi Park is that there are possibilities of the Tower outshining the statue of Mahatma Gandhiji, which the Corporation does not want to happen.
“Hence, we want the design to be done in such a way that the statue becomes a part of the Tower. However, this is just a plan and success of the same depends on the response of the people,” he said.
Dr Vijayaprakash said that the Corporation has plans to develop all the circles, specifically the place where Clock Tower was situated by taking up beautiful lanscaping works. “Elaborate garden, lighting and foundation will be done at the circles for beautification of the city,” he said.
With the ancient clock tower gone with the wind, the citizens of Mangalore have to wait and watch as to when a new clock tower will relinquish the memories of the old one.