Members of the Ballari City Municipal Corporation staged a demonstration condemning the removal of the old clock tower at Gadagi Chennappa Circle for the construction of a new clock tower in its place.
The corporation staff removed the old tower on Tuesday night and learning of the development, the corporators rushed to the spot and staged the protest till the break of dawn.
Prabhanjan Kumar, a Congress corporator, said that the tower was removed without the approval of the civic body. “There was a 50-year-old clock tower at the same place and it was a historical monument and a landmark in the heart of the city. It was demolished in 2013 despite stiff resistance from the residents. Another clock tower, which was smaller in size, was built in its place. It is also removed now despite the opposition from the residents and the members of the civic body. Now, 140-feet high clock tower is going to be built in its place at a cost of ₹7 crore. The civic body has not approved the project. The BJP government forced the Corporation Commissioner to issue an NOC to the project,” Mr. Kumar told The Hindu.
He also criticised the government for what he called “misplaced priorities” and questioned the relevance of demolishing historic monuments and building unproductive structures in their places.
“People are facing serious problems. They are struggling to get even basic amenities safe drinking water and shelters. Instead of addressing such issues, the government is spending taxpayers’ money on projects such as clock towers. This shows the misplaced priorities of the irresponsible government,” he said.
Transport Minister and Ballari In-charge B. Sriramulu held a meeting of senior officers in Ballari recently and directed them to finish the project at the earliest possible.