Rotary clock tower in Darjeeling - A tower that ticks and cloaks water

Rotary clock tower in Darjeeling Town
Darjeeling: Darjeeling's most famous landmark, the Capitol Clock Tower, has a twin now.
Even though the new Rotary Tower will not be chiming to the tune of Big Ben in London, it is expected to play a major role in saving life and property of tinderbox Darjeeling.
The turret clock of the Capitol Hall, set up by Darjeeling municipality in the early 1920s, was one of the most visible landmarks in town until the skyline changed with high rises. Those days, apart from its aesthetic appeal, the town used to move with its chime.
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The new tower, which was dedicated to the people by the Rotary Club of Darjeeling on Independence Day, is however, expected to act as a giant hydrant.

"The 40ft tall tower has provisions to hold 12,000 litres of water. In case of fire emergencies, we have made provisions for fire engines to refill their tanks," said Tashi Pencho, project director of the clock tower.
The municipality had donated land to Rotary Club to set up the tower. "A dedicated water line has been linked to the tower from a municipality hydrant. This means even as the fire engines are refilling their tanks, our tanks at the tower will also be continuously refilled," said Pencho.
Fire engines are stationed at Dali, 4km from the congested Chowk Bazar. The Rotary tower could be the point of first response for the residents to fire emergencies.
"We are planning to keep a set of keys of the tower at Darjeeling police station (which is barely 100m away) and another set at some prominent place in town," said Pencho.
Plans are afoot to tie up with the fire department to train 30-40 youths from the neighbourhood to set up a first response team. "We will also be keeping fire extinguishers and other tools at the tower," said Pencho.
Members of the Rotary Club and their well-wishers pooled in around Rs 27 lakh for the project.


The Telegraph
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Darjeeling's most famous landmark, the Capitol Clock Tower, has a twin now. Even though the new Rotary Tower will not be chiming to the tune of Big Ben in London, it is expected to play a major role in saving life and property of tinderbox Darjeeling.

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