Mysore/Mysuru: The Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) is preparing a Detailed Project Report (DPR) to list out what needs to be done to conserve the historic Silver Jubilee Clock Tower, popularly known as Dodda Gadiyara among the citizens, in the wake of structural damages due to vagaries of weather and lack of maintenance.
This imposing structure was built in 1927 near Rangacharlu Town Hall in city. “We are consulting subject experts to know from them the suitable measures to restore this Clock Tower and bring it back to original form where the chiming of bells reverberated across the city,” MCC Commissioner Gurudatta Hegde told Star of Mysore.
“It is a heritage structure and it needs a thorough study as any wrong step may cause irreparable damage to it. The Corporation wants to complete the DPR preparation work within the next three to four months and then undertake repairs accordingly,” he added.
Cracks have developed at the top portion where the bell is situated. There is a 5.5 feet bell on top of the tower and it has stopped ringing since the last 30 years. The weight of the French-made bell is around 920 kg. Arch of the structure has cracks owing to rusting of the iron used in the construction process.
Explaining the measures taken by the MCC after cracks were observed on the heritage structure, MCC Commissioner Gurudatta Hegde said that soon after the reports of structural damage, he, along with a team comprising members of District Heritage Committee, MCC engineers and the historians, personally inspected the structure.
“A detailed inspection and analysis revealed that there are problems in its foundation, dome, bell and pillar. Since it has been built by using clay and mortar, we took the sample to study the sturdiness of the whole structure. The Corporation was not averse to taking the help from Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) because of its expertise in handling such heritage structures. The chiming of the clock has been disabled purposely as the sound of bell is likely to cause further damage to the structure due to vibration,” he explained.
“There is no dearth of funds. The MCC is ready to spend any amount on the repairs of Dodda Gadiyara since it is one of the important landmarks of the city and the citizens are emotionally attached to it. Our aim is to strengthen the existing structure in order to make it stable so that it can remain as a vintage beauty for many more decades to come,” Hegde said.
It may be recalled here that in June this year, following the reports of cracks and growing concern among heritage lovers on the fate of the iconic structure, an exclusive Conservation of Heritage Clock Tower Committee was formed under the Chairmanship of Mysuru DC.
MCC Commissioner is the Member-Secretary of the Committee that has heritage experts and structural engineers including Member, Expert Committee for Development and Protection of Mysore Heritage Region and Convenor, INTACH Prof. N.S. Rangaraju, N.R. Ashok, Maj. Gen. (Retd.) S.G. Vombatkere and Raghunath.