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Cracks found on the walls of Saheed Minar

Kolkata: Cracks on the walls of the 190-year-old Saheed Minar was spotted during a recent inspection conducted by engineers from the state Public Works Department (PWD).
Sources said that necessary tasks have been undertaken to ensure fast initiation of the restoration work of the monument, which was erected in 1828 in memory of Major-general Sir David Ochterlony, who was commander of the British East India Company.
Later in 1969, the monument was renamed as "Saheed Minar", dedicating it to the martyrs of the freedom movement during the United Front government.
A 12-member team, comprising engineers of the state PWD, visited Saheed Minar on Friday and thoroughly inspected the present condition of the monument.
Sources said that during inspection, the engineers spotted cracks on the walls, both in the interior and exterior of the monument. A report has been prepared after the inspection and based on the it a plan of action will be chalked out, according to which the restoration of Saheed Minar will be carried out. The PWD officials are yet to finalise the day from when the work will start. "But it has to be carried out soon," said an official.
Saheed Minar is one of the major attractions of the city and people from all across the globe visit the place, to have a look at the 157 feet tall monument that was designed by JP Parker.
Earlier, visitors were allowed to climb all the 223 steps of the serpentine staircase, to reach the top of Saheed Minar which still stands as a mark where in the adjacent ground Rabindranath Tagore had presided over the first political meeting, protesting against the killing of a youth at Hijli in 1931. Later, the adjacent ground, commonly known as Brigade Parade Ground, had witnessed several political rallies.
However, since 1997, no one has been allowed to climb up the monument without permission of the police. The step was taken after a visitor had jumped off a balcony of the monument.
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