TODAY -

Giant clock atop GM Hall, a disgrace for the State
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, June 17 2013: The giant time piece fixed atop Gandhi Memorial (GM) Hall in the heart of Imphal city has become a disgrace for the State as it has been lying defunct for the last many years.

Imphal Municipal Council (IMC), which is the authority to look after the maintenance of the clock, has failed to repair it even after two years have passed since the officials concerned gave the assurance of mending it.

Had Manipur not been under the dominion of Indian Union, there would have been a Manipur Standard Time with the possibility of the giant clock installed atop GM Hall with faces in all four directions or some other devices serving as the sole authority to decide the passage of time in the State.

Even though Manipur is now under Indian Union, the clock on top of GM Hall had been playing a big role in telling exact time of the day to the people until it remains defunct.

When Hueiyen Lanpao investigated into the origin of the clock, which has come to be regarded as a landmark of the State capital, it was found that the clock installed atop GM Hall was manufactured by Indo-Swiss Company.

It was bought for Rs 17,000 at that time, and if the rate is compared with the present time, it would come to lakhs of rupees.



Giant clock atop GM Hall, a disgrace for the State
Giant clock atop GM Hall, a disgrace for the State


Interacting with Hueiyen Lanpao, a retired Executive Officer of the then Imphal Municipal Board, who served in the Board till 1987, informed that the foundation stone of GM Hall was laid by the then Chief Commissioner Mathew in the year 1958 .

The area of GM Hall, which used to be extended till where the Congress Bhavan and the Public Library stand today, was handed over to Gandhi Samarak Samiti by the Government.

He further informed that the Gandhi Samarak Samiti had sanctioned an amount of Rs 2 lakhs to Imphal Municipal Board for the construction of GM Hall in the year 1958 when Manipur was still a Union Territory.

Consequently, Imphal Municipal Board handed over the construction work to a company by the name of Ballardie Thomson and Mathews Company which was based in Calcutta (now Kolkata).

The design of the Hall was also done by the said company.

The retired Executive Officer went on to inform that as the construction of GM Hall could not be accomplished with the Rs 2 lakhs sanctioned by Gandhi Samarak Samiti, another Rs 1.35 lakhs was provided by the then Lieutenant Governor DR Kohli and the construction work was finally completed in 1972 .

It took almost 14 years to complete the construction work of GM hall, which was subsequently, inaugurated on January 23, 1972 and handed it over to the general public.

One Laishram Babu was first made the care taker of the Clock.

However after his death, no other care taker has been appointed.

Consequently, with no one to look after the maintenance of the clock, it started showing signs malfunctioning every now and then since 1988 .

A rickshaw driver, who was waiting for customer nearby GM Hall, observed that installation of an outdated clock, which is also not functioning for the last many years, is indeed the worst thing that could be done by IMC.

Another rickshaw driver recounted funny incidents in which passersby looked up to the giant clock atop GM Hall and correcting the timing on their wrist watches not knowing that it has not been functioning for the last many years.

IMC is an independent body, but it is unfortunate that it does not have the capability of sanctioning an amount of Rs 10,000 for repairing the defunct clock.

On the other hand, the State Government has being staying mum over the matter, and thus, conveying the message to tourists coming from all over the world that Manipur has indeed caught in a time warp.


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