Hyderabad’s clock towers set to tick

Works on Shalibanda clock tower almost completed, restoration of Sultan Bazar tower to take off

By   |  Published: 15th Dec 2019  12:41 am

Hyderabad: After restoring some of the clock towers in the city including the one at MJ Market, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) is now taking up a similar exercise with the other clock towers.

While the works at Shahalibanda tower are almost done, the restoration of Sultan Bazar clock tower is expected to take off soon. Though the civic body had floated tenders for the restoration of Sultan Bazar clock, the same was held back due to poor response from interested parties to take up the work.

The municipal corporation has recently taken up the exercise to restore and renovate the decades-old clock towers spread across the city. Hyderabad has 12 clock towers and the GHMC is handling the operation and maintenance of these structures at most places.

While, Sports Authority of Telangana is ensuring the restoration and maintenance of the clock tower at Fateh Maidan Club, those at railway stations are being handled by others.
Apart from structural stability, GHMC is now working on restoring the technical condition of the clocks, besides other aspects. The works at Shahalibanda tower taken up with a budget of Rs 22 lakh are almost completed. A private agency is engaged in restoration here, said GHMC Director (Planning), K Srinivasa Rao.

Now, efforts are on to ensure the Sultan Bazar tower is strengthened and have its clock tick, and an estimate of costs involved has been made for Rs 1.30 crore that include the civil and clock work. However, there is no response from bidders for the tenders floated recently, officials said. However, the efforts were on to commence the works at the tower at the earliest.

Apart from technical aspects, pigeons have also made the maintenance of the clocks a task for the municipal corporation. At places such as Moazzam Jahi Market and Shahalibanda, the pigeons flock on the hands of the clocks.

As a result, the hands either get damaged or stop functioning. To fix these issues, GHMC in the past had set up pigeon nets to prevent the birds from entering the towers at Moazzam Jahi Market.

As part of an action plan, these structures are to be decked up with lighting, garden, security or fencing, cleaning and other measures wherever possible.

Manual operation a challenge

Among all the clock towers in the city, the one at Shahalibanda is significant as it is operated manually, while the rest are electronically operated. Not many agencies or companies are well versed with the operation and maintenance of such clocks. Every eight days, workers have to key the Shahalibanda clock fully and it rings automatically every hour.

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