Welukar’s swan song: To open Rajabai tower for public view

Mumbai : Vice Chancellor of Mumbai University Dr Rajan Welukar whose tenure will end in early July 2015, on Tuesday, expressed his wish to open the Rajabai Clock Tower for public before he leaves his office. From decades, the tower in the university Fort campus is closed to public due to multiple reasons, but the prominent reason was 280 feet height which had earlier become a frequent spot for attempting suicide.

Dr Welukar was addressing inauguration function of restoration of the iconic Rajabai Clock Tower and Library building on Tuesday in the university Fort campus. He said, “137-year-old Rajabai Clock Tower is heritage treasure of the country and we had restricted access to this treasure.”

He added, “Several times, I saw people from country and abroad stand on the road and see the beauty of tower for hours. Before I leave this office in next July, I would like to table this proposal to the Management Council to open this treasure to public, at least once in a week or once in a month.”

At present, the tower is close to the public as it was observed that few people had attempted to commit suicide from the tower. Besides, the stairs which is only way to the clock tower were in bad conditions so use of stairs was restricted.

After the restoration work, the tower and the library building were opened for university staff and students on Tuesday. However, it is yet to open for public. Restoration project was carried out with the cooperation from the Tata Consultancy Service (TCS) in coordination with Indian Heritage Society.

TCS CEO and MD N Chandrasekaran said, “The restoration of the iconic landmark Rajabai Tower is a matter of great pride for all of us at the TCS.”

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Rajabai tower is modeled on the lines of London’s ‘Big Ben’ and its height is 280 feet. The foundation stone was laid on March 1, 1869 and construction was completed in November 1878. It was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, an English architect. It reflects the Gothic and Venetian style of architecture.

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