Sunday, 10 November 2013

100-foot high brick made British era Chimney withstands two cyclones in Berhampur

A few meters away from this chimney, a major shed of the CWC depot has been completely devastated by Phailin cyclone
A tall brick built chimney of the British era on the campus of the Central Warehouse Corporation (CWC) in the city has withstood the super cyclone of 1999 and the recent Phailin cyclone proving that at times ‘old can also be strong’.
This around 100-foot high chimney stands proudly amid signs of devastation by the Phailin all around it on the campus of the Central Warehouse Corporation (CWC) in goods shed area of the city. The Phailin has also not been able to put any mark of damage on this decades old chimney.
It is quite interesting to note that a few metres away from this chimney, a major shed of the depot of the CWC had been completely devastated by the Phailin cyclone.
This large shed containing 2,000 MT of rice had collapsed under the wrath of the cyclone. Its asbestos roof was blown away and its walls had also collapsed making the rice stock in it exposed to rains that accompanied the cyclone. But the old chimney stood undeterred by the heavy winds of the cyclone as if hinting at a ray of hope.
According to regional manager, Odisha of the CWC, S. Pravin Kumar, this brick made chimney had also not suffered any damage due to the super cyclone of 1999. It only bears the effects of time and nature. At present a large banyan tree has grown at the top of this chimney. Although roots of the tree have reached the ground through the chimney, they have also not been able to bring in cracks on its stone wall. Mr Kumar felt some bird may have dispersed banyan seed at the top of the chimney which has now grown into a mature tree.
Before the CWC took up this patch of land to establish its largest depot in Odisha, it had a rice mill during British-era. This chimney happens to be the only remnant of that rice mill.
Several times in the past, the CWC authorities had tried to demolish this brick made chimney but they were not successful in their effort. It has been made by small sized strong bricks which were joined by traditional joining materials rather than cement. Moreover, metal rings had been provided around the chimney at several places to make it stronger. ‘These factors have till now saved this chimney from vagaries of nature as well as human efforts to break it down”, said Mr Kumar.
The CWC has now decided not to make any more efforts to demolish this old chimney. It would now be renovated and used as a landmark for the CWC depot in Berhampur. As it can be seen from quite a distance, the CWC plans to put up its signboard above the chimney after its renovation. Source: The Hindu 

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