Ruwi Clock Tower completes 21 years
Mon, 02 July 2012
By Kabeer Yousuf — MUSCAT — The massive Clock Tower in CBD area, Ruwi, one of the entertainment venues that has been in existence for two decades, where common people while away their pastime in the evenings, is completing its 21st year this month. Built by Galfar Engineering and Contracting Company in a record time of 105 days against the deadline of 120 days set by the Muscat Municipality, the Clock Tower, that stands 43.8 meters high on the sprawling lawn of the area, is a testimony to the old saying ‘nothing is impossible’.
The project that was the first of its kind where the ‘Primavera’ project planner for monitoring the works in the world of architecture also demonstrates the human agility, a sense of zest for achieving, and enviable teamwork in its beginning and its record-breaking completion. “It was at around 6 pm on July 17, 1991 that the announcement came and the work was awarded to Galfar at a meeting held at the Capital Municipality and Mohammed Rashid al Araimi and I represented Galfar”, P V Dasappan, who headed the team of engineers in the construction of the Civic Piazza, said.
It is worth to note that several other contractors, even internationally renowned companies did not collect the tender but a local firm went ahead with the determination of building a civic piazza in the nucleus of the city. P V Dasappan was in the payrolls of Galfar Engineering and Contracting Company from September 16, 1976 at a time when the today’s No 1 civil and contracting company was manned with 4 staff and 24 workers, till October 15, 1992.
While awarding the contract and ensuring that the company could deliver the said project in the stipulated time, the head of Muscat Municipality had another word to leave with the company representatives — that the clock for 120 days had already started ticking and that he would be at site for inspection at 5.30 am the following morning to review Galfar’s progress on earth work excavations for Tower Foundation.
The rest happened in light’s speed — everything went on like a domino. The project specifications and drawings were collected from the consultant’s office at 7.30 pm, thereafter the engineers and the other team members were taken to the project location and site was formally handed over by the consultants under the light from a torch. The four corner pegs were established by the municipality at about 8 pm on the same day.
“I studied the specification/drawings, identified and overnight, instructed mobilisation of resources. The co-ordination and support between the operating and Support departments was excellent. The following day, I got to the at 4.30 am; we mobilised our resources at site by 5 am Vikraman Achary and Ramana Achary, our site in-charge came to the site with 12 workers, skilled and unskilled. Abraham, from Plant sent one JCB and one truck at 5 am. I turned on the headlights of my car and the truck for light. The site was cleared, profile layout and the layout of the tower's foundation was completed by 5.15 am. The JCB was engaged for earth excavations for the tower's foundation raft”, Dasappan remembers.
The quicker planning and mobilisation of resources brought fruit within twenty four hours since the foundation stone was laid. When the Muscat Municipality head visited the site at 5.30 am, he was impressed and contended. “The work was carried out in three shifts, 8 hours each. The support from other departments, especially electrical and mechanical departments, initiatives of Epan and Abraham headed by J K Mitra, allowed us to maintain our momentum. The co-operation and support extended by all other departments, Transport, Equipments, Stores, were beyond words”.
Finally, Galfar was able to complete and handed over the prestigious and landmark project on time within 120 days, which is standing high and mighty in the heart of Ruwi today. Today, while spending some good times near the clock tower, we have yet another awe-inspiring story to recall and share.
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