Hyderabad: It was once a symbol of pride for the city, a mark of one of India’s most prestigious victories over the neighbour in the 1971 war.
But now, 45 years later, even as the country is celebrating ‘Vijay Diwas’ on Friday, paying tributes to heroes of the Indo-Pak War of 1971, the M-47 Patton Tank on Tank Bund here is a picture of desolation. No one knows who should be taking care of this historical war piece.
The Army which gifted the tank, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) which maintains the park around the tank, and Tourism officials all threw their hands up, each saying it was not their responsibility.
Gift from Army
The Patton Tank was gifted to the State government as a memorial by Major General W.A.G. Pinto of the Indian Army’s Bison Division, which was raised from Secunderabad and played a major role in India’s victory in 1971.
The war saw India knocking out and capturing 66 similar tanks of the Pakistan Army and the M47 was one of those.
“The park around the tank is under the maintenance of GHMC but the Patton is not maintained by us. It is probably under the maintenance of Tourism Department,” said Suresh Kumar, GHMC Chief Engineer.
On the other hand, when contacted, a Tourism Department official said Tank Bund was under the maintenance of GHMC and therefore, the tank ‘should also be under their maintenance’.
On the other hand, Defence spokesperson B. Satheesh Kumar said the Army had handed over the tank to the government long time ago. So, it should be under their maintenance, he quoted Bison Division officials as saying.
The Bison Division, in 2014, had taken the initiative to resuscitate the tank and even gave the mean machine a fresh coat of paint coinciding with Vijay Diwas.