Often, heritage structures bear the brunt of development and in Karimnagar, the iconic Tower Circle is the recent victim of public, official apathy. It is being damaged by the organisers of Durga pandal for the ensuing Dasara festival, but the authorities of Municipal Corporation of Karimnagar (MCK) have not paid heed to it.

Built in 1928 by Collector Hunter in the British government, it was the tallest structure in those days that used to tell time.

In January this year, the members of Tower Circle Friends’ Association and MCK officials launched an initiative where they sing national anthem every day at the Tower Circle as the clock strikes 9 a.m. This was to create awareness on protecting heritage structures, but it seems not to have had any impact on people. For they have been damaging the structure, which would soon celebrate its centenary year.

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The Police Department has encroached upon the Tower Circle area by building a police sub-control room on the premises. Besides, the organisers of Ganesha and Durga mandaps have been defacing the structure, and this year, they have erected a temporary structure surrounding the clock tower and have encroached the adjacent road causing traffic snarls at the busy commercial centre.

There was some hope when the MCK decided to develop Karimnagar on par with Amritsar as part of the Smart City project, but nothing came of it, leaving historians and general public disappointed.

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Lok Satta Udyama Samstha district president N. Srinivas said the Tower Circle was declared a heritage structure, and no construction around it or modification to the structure should be allowed without the Central government’s consent.

“There is no use in declaring Karimnagar a smart city when the heritage structures are being damaged,” he said and added that the police sub-control room should be removed from the premises.

When contacted, Mayor S. Ravinder Singh said they would take all measures to ensure that the heritage structure was not damaged during any festivities. He also assured to take measures to avoid encroachment of the road by the organisers of Durga pandal. #KhabarLive