MUSSOORIE, March 20
It was day of reckoning for the citizens of Mussoorie especially Landour Bazaar as the most important Landmark the Historic Clock Tower (Ghanta Ghar) that has been rebuilt after a long wait of eight years was finally inaugurated by the Municipal Board Chairman Manmohan Singh Mall and former MLA Mussoorie Jot Singh Gunsola, jointly at around noon, on Tuesday.
The President Mussoorie Municipal Board Manmohan Singh Mall dedicating the clock tower to the citizens said that his election promise has been fulfilled. He said that the clock tower apart from the chiming of the bells is fitted with wakeup alarm call sounding “Good Morning Mussoorie” that calls for short interval at 5.00 AM, 6.00 AM AND 7.00 AM every day. The former Jot Singh Gunsola, MLA Mussoorie praised the wakeup call system installed at the clock tower and suggested that to introduce Welcome Mussoorie message in it for the tourists.
Mall said that Books written by famous writers from Mussoorie Namely Ruskin Bond, Late Tom Alter, and others would be established on the second floor that will be converted into a Library. He praised the contractor for working under difficult condition and finishing the work on time. He said that no fee would be taken from the tourists who were interested in visiting the Clock Tower.
The reconstructed Clock Tower is also fitted with ornamental lights providing a graceful look thus turning into one more spot for tourists to visit at night.
For most of the people Clock Tower was not just a structure displaying time, but it was an important landmark that had become an integral part of their lives. For the people of Landour it was a structure to guide the newcomers or the relatives outside the town to their designated destinations.
The tolling bells of the reconstructed clock tower reminded the resident of the struggle that had gone in to bring it back on its feet after eight years. “The clock tower was missed by us all these years and to see its once again standing gloriously is a pleasing sight”, said Ranvir Singh resident of the town.
Another resident said that the sound of the clock tower ushers in the new hope for the town. For the residents who were attached to the memories of Clock tower and its demolition was an emotional moment.
It is to be noted that the original clock tower was built around 1939 and it was demolished on the pretext of giving it a new shape in 2010. Following the demolition, the sentiments ran high and the eminent Bollywood actor late Tom Alter, who was an old resident of the town had mourned the demolition of the clock tower with a silent protest same year. Several residents took out candle March protesting its inordinate delay in its reconstruction too such were the feelings about this historic structure. The clock tower was to be rebuilt on the lines of Big Ben clock tower of London Jointly by Mussoorie Municipal Board and local businessmen at an estimated cost of Rs 38 Lakh where Municipal council was to spend 19 Lakh and rest was to be done by local businessmen.
The plans were to fit the clock tower with the lights that would change on important occasions such as Independence, Republic Day etc, accordingly but the proposal had to be dropped due to various reasons. The matter also went to High court, where the court gave orders of its reconstruction at the same site after which the construction work began a year ago and was inaugurated on Tuesday at an estimated cost of Rs 80 Lakh.
The Traders Association president Rajat Aggarwal, Former member Uttarakhand tourism development board Sandeep Sahni, Jagjeet Kukreja, Ganesh Saili, former Mahila congress president Bharosi Rawat, Municipal Board Ward members Jasvir Kaur, Shivani Bahrti, Ramesh Bhandari, Vinod Semwal, Beena Panwaar, Virendar Panwar, Ramesh Bhandari, Vinod Semwal and others were present on the occasion. The ward member were also presented with the certificate given by the chief minister of the state for exemplary work done under the Swachta Mission in Mussoorie on the occasion.