Linah Baliga / DNA
Mumbai, Jul 7: The city will celebrate 7/7/7 in style. The Crawford Market heritage clock will resume ticking on Saturday. Its still hands will be sweeping across the dial again after three long years, thanks to Dorabjee Tata and Sons Trust, which pumped in money to help the BMC restore the clock.
The clock stood the test of time for 133 years before it stopped ticking in 2004. The city seemed to be oblivious about the loss of a heritage till furniture trader Aziz Amreliwala decided to use the Right to Information (RTI) Act as a tool to bring the clock back from the dead.
Months of correspondence yielded the desired result. Venkatesh Rao, 44, one of the very few who could mend such a vintage clock, was approached by Tata Sons Trust to restore the clock. Ever since, he had worked tirelessly on it, with BMC officials lending a helping hand.
“It is weight driven clock with a pendulum length of one metre. It works on a ordinary wall clock principal, the only difference being its sheer size,” said Rao.
For the past six months, special spare parts for the clock were brought in from all over India. “Many of the old spare parts were completely rusted, and had to be tailor-made,” said Vijay Balamwar, Assistant Municipal Commissioner
(A ward), who worked on the project with Rao.Conservation architect Vikas Dilawari said, “In those days, markets were landmark buildings, and were accentuated by clocks. Placing clocks on market towers is a western concept.”