Dufferin Clock Tower battles against neglect
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Dufferin Clock Tower battles against neglect

April 22, 2024

Will be rejuvenated soon after the election

Mysore/Mysuru: The Dufferin Clock Tower, commonly known as ‘Chikka Gadiyara,’ is a significant historical landmark in Mysuru city, but its allure and importance are waning due to waste dumping and inadequate maintenance.

During the era of the Mysore kingdom, rulers were compelled to maintain favourable relations with British authorities, often resorting to appeasement to secure approvals for development projects benefiting their subjects.

In 1886, Chamaraja Wadiyar extended an invitation to Lord Dufferin, then Viceroy of British India, to visit Mysore. In honour of his visit, a modest Clock Tower was erected and christened “Dufferin Clock Tower.”

At that time, clocks were a rarity, prompting Maharaja Chamaraja Wadiyar to construct the Clock Tower to instil a sense of time-keeping among the populace. Adorned with ornate carvings and positioned atop elegant pillars with a fountain below, the Clock Tower was unveiled coinciding with the Viceroy’s visit.

Despite efforts by Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) in 2012 to revitalise the area surrounding the Dufferin Clock Tower, including the installation of stone benches, granite steps and electrical lighting, subpar workmanship has tarnished the grandeur of ‘Chikka Gadiyara.’

The unsanitary state surrounding Dufferin Clock Tower has become a glaring eyesore despite MCC evacuating street vendors from the spot recently. The fountain below the Clock Tower, once a symbol of regality commissioned by the Maharaja of Mysore, now lies filled with refuse, defacing its elegant construction. Rusted pipes mar the fountain’s structure, while stone benches encircling the Clock Tower lay broken and neglected.

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Though space was designated for the cultivation of flowering plants, their neglect has led to their withering due to irregular watering. These dismal conditions deter visitors seeking to admire the premises up close.

Concerned citizens are left pondering the state of heritage structures in the Chief Minister’s home district, given the neglect evident at the Dufferin Clock Tower. It appears that officials are indifferent to the significance of their duties within the CM’s jurisdiction. Even elected representatives turn a blind eye to the civic issues plaguing the area surrounding the Dufferin Clock Tower and other heritage sites.

Given the current enforcement of the Model Code of Conduct, the initiation of new projects is prohibited. However, immediate attention will be directed towards the upkeep of cleanliness and hygiene in the vicinity of Dufferin Clock Tower. Priority will be accorded to these tasks, with officials receiving explicit directives to commence the work promptly. Additionally, measures will be implemented to evacuate hawkers conducting business in the vicinity.— Dr. N.N. Madhu, MCC Commissioner


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