Hussainabad clock tower : LUCKNOW

The clock tower in the General Post Office (GPO) of Lucknow is not the only one for which time is not correct. Other clock towers in the city are also stuck on time, which highlight the incompetence of the departments concerned in preserving the city's rich heritage, demanding their restoration.

There are five clock towers in Lucknow- Hussainabad Clock Tower, a Central Bank, Hazratganj, Aminabad, Hamid Clock Tower at City Station and a GPO. But almost all the watches, historians said, had either stopped chiming or stopped lying.

Of these, the replica of the famous Big Ben in London, Hussainabad Clock Tower, is the most spectacular. The public timekeeper Nawab Nasir-ud-Din Haider created the first lieutenant governor of Agra and Awadh's first lieutenant governor Sir George Cooper Bart in 1882-87 at a cost of Rs 1.75 lakh. City historian Yogesh Pravin said, "James William Benson, the Queen of England and the makers of Big Ben had contracted the contract and Major Norman MT Horsford of the Bengal Staff Corps supervised the construction."

Running heavy machinery and putting a huge cast iron bell at 220 feet inside the clock tower was no small task. With the Moorish dome at the top, the clock was made entirely of Bell metal imported from London. Each side of the clock is of 13 feet diameter, in which the flower size dial and petals are 3 feet in diameter. The hand of the hand is 6 feet long and the hour hand is 4.5 feet. It is also said that its bells produced such a sound which could be heard in the length and breadth of the city.

Sadly, despite this great clock value, the clock tower is not in the security list of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and it is poor. Husseinabad and affiliated trust (HAT) officials said that Clock Tower had stopped working in 1984.

The district administration started an attempt to start the clock in 1999, but failed. In 2004, another attempt was made to restore the clock, but it was also wasted, because the person employed for the job ran away with his important parts. In 2009, HAT made another attempt to restore the timekeeper and contacted an Anglo-Swiss company for this purpose, but the company's official said that the clock could not be repaired because its parts were missing.

In 2010, the district administration decided to change the clock. But, after this Akhilesh Agarwal and Paritosh Chauhan were contacted, who came forward to make one last effort. On April 13, 2010, he started working and was able to make the distracted watch workable until October 28, 2010. Finally on September 13, 2011, he made a huge watch tower chime after the silence of 27 long years.

But, after a few years, it was again silent. Similarly, other clock towers are also damaged. Heritage enthusiasts here demanded their restoration saying that they have made an important part of the city's heritage and should be saved on priority basis.

Clock Tower is a part of our heritage. How can we turn eyes on their forgiveness? State government or relevant agencies should take appropriate measures to restore the public timer, "said an Mohammed Haider, an Heraldian journalist.