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Clock tower gift for Dibrugarh residents

Dibrugarh, Dec. 11: Residents of this 170-year-old town will soon have their own version of Big Ben, with Dibrugarh set to become the first town in Assam to have a clock tower.

Chandra Kanta Baruah, chairman of Dibrugarh Municipal Board, laid the foundation of the proposed clock tower at Chowkidinghee traffic point here today.

Once installed, the clock tower will replace the traffic point. Baruah said it was one of their ambitious ventures under the board’s beautification drive and they were leaving no stone unturned to make it a success.

The designing and other allied work for installation of the clock tower were initially set to begin in October this year but owing to some paperwork, it got delayed, he said.

The estimated cost of the project will be aroundRs 25.77 lakh and it will be completed in three months. The clock itself will cost around Rs 3 lakh, Baruah added.

The overall height of the clock tower will be around 40 feet and the segment bearing the clock will be 6 feet high with four clock faces.

A Calcutta-based firm, M/s Solutions, has been entrusted with carrying out the project. The company is a pioneer in constructing clock towers and has a number of successful projects to its name, including ones at Calcutta Port Trust, Burdwan municipality in Bengal, St James Church and K.K. Birla Charitable Trust in Calcutta, Bengal Engineering and Science University in Shibpur, Bengal, and the Itanagar capital complex in Arunachal Pradesh, among others.

Baruah said the municipal board had constituted a committee for the project comprising the district commissioner, PWD officials and engineers.

“For the past one-and-a-half years, we discussed a number of projects and finally settled for the clock tower as we were looking for something to give Dibrugarh a unique identity,” he said.

“After a lot of brainstorming, everyone thought the clock tower will be the best project. We had once thought of installing a fighter plane in a park here with the help of the Indian Air Force but eventually nothing constructive happened. So, the completion of the tower will be a big boost for us,” said Paramananda Gogoi, assistant engineer with the municipal board.

“Initially, there were apprehensions over the funding, but we got a huge help from Dibrugarh deputy commissioner Aruna Rajouri who sanctioned Rs 5 lakh. Dibrugarh MP and DoNER minister Paban Singh Ghatowar and Oil India Ltd also helped us with funds,” said joint engineer R.R. Rajkonwar.

“It’s a laudable effort on part of the municipal board,” said Bhudev Phukan, chairman, Eastern Chamber of Commerce and Industries.