KOLLAM: For the city folks, the iconic quadrangular-shaped Kollam Clock Tower is a part of their lives. But the 71-year-old structure, which has been a mute spectator to the political, cultural and social transformation of the district, is now in a neglected state as ‘time stands still’ in its clocks.
Months have passed since the clocks stopped working. The structure itself wears a sick look with paints faded and some part of the plastering missing completely. The window panes of the tower are broken and a major part of the structure has fissures caused by ageing. Saplings are also seen sprouting from below and above the clock tower.
Meanwhile, local associations have alleged that the sorry state of the tower was owing to the continuous neglect of the monument by the City Corporation, which is supposed to look after its maintenance. They added that the underpass project and the ongoing works of the overbridge might have taken their toll on the old structure.
When Express enquired about the issue with Mayor Honey Benjamin, she said that the beautification work of the Clock Tower will begin soon. “We acknowledge the fact that the structure itself is in a poor state. Though the City Corporation had invited tender works worth Rs 20 lakh for the purpose, we couldn’t find any bidders. Thus, we have decided to go in for a re-tender. Procedures in this regard are in the final phase,” said Honey Benjamin.
According to her, the work will give a facelift to the tower and the clocks will also be repaired.
When asked whether the shops working under the Clock Tower will be shifted as part of the maintenance works, the Mayor said that a decision in this regard will be taken later. ‘‘As part of the ongoing construction works, some of the shops were shifted to Link Road, while some others are still operating from there. The evacuation of these shop will be considered later,’’ she said.