Heritage clocks stop ticking

The clocks were installed during the reign of Wadiyar dynasty

Heritage clocks stop ticking

Two clock towers in the heart of the city have stopped ticking, thanks to the apathy of civic authorities. Dufferin Clock Tower, also popularly known as ‘Chikkagadiyaara’ near Devaraja Market, and Silver Jubilee Clock tower also known as ‘Doddagadiyaara’ near Town Hall, have stopped ticking from the last two days.

Chikkagadiyaara (small clock tower) is 128 year old, and Doddagadiyaara is 87 year old. The clock towers commissioned then to enable people, when wrist watches were a luxury, have remained landmark structures in the city even after the princely rule.

Srinivas (75), a watch repairer on Irwin road was responsible for keeping the clocks functioning. He used to receive and honorarium of Rs 1,500 per month. Till his death two days ago (May 8), he would regularly pay a visit to the towers every alternative day to fix the clock. Following his death, the clocks now stand neglected.

No technicians

The Mysore City Corporation, which has failed to groom second generation technicians to maintain the heritage clocks, has not even permitted Madhu, son of Srinivas, to take over his father’s job, according to sources.

History

The clocks date back to erstwhile Wadiyar’s rule. Dufferin Clock Tower was commissioned in commemoration of the visit of then British viceroy of India Lord Dufferin to Mysore in the year 1886. It was the maiden visit of the top echelon of the British empire. He had come to Mysore on the invitation of then Maharaja of Mysore Chamaraja Wadiyar X.

Doddagadiyaara near Town Hall, was installed to mark the silver jubilee reign of the 24th maharaja of Mysore Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar. Wadiyar who ascended the throne in the year 1902 (after his father Chamaraja Wadiyar X), completed 25 years of his rule in 1927. The clock tower is 75 ft tall and is topped by a canopy built in Rajasthani style of architecture. The heritage square type structure is built in Indo-Saracenic style.

Local corporator M J Ravikumar said that the matter had come to his notice, and that he had intimated officials to find a suitable replacement to Srinivas. When contacted MCC Commissioner P G Ramesh claimed he was unaware about the status of the clocks. He said that the matter would be addressed the earliest.

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