HT initiative: Pune’s Zero Stone to be restored by PMC
The work is being undertaken by Arvind Shinde, senior Congressman and leader of the opposition in PMC, as a part of his ward development work.pune Updated: Apr 20, 2018 14:24 IST
After being neglected for decades together, the Pune’s Zero Stone, a heritage landmark, is finally being restored by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC).
The work is being undertaken by Arvind Shinde, senior Congressman and leader of the opposition in PMC, as a part of his ward development work.
On Thursday, Shinde, along with a team from Hindustan Times, visited the heritage structure outside the general post office (GPO) on Sadhu Vaswani Mission road and explained the restoration and beautification plans for the entire footpath, on which the stone is located.
Acknowledged as the most important milestone of the city, the Zero Stone marks the point from where distances are measured between cities. It is, thus, the oldest milestone of the city, not necessarily located in its oldest locality.
“The stone marks the exact geographic location of the city and it falls under the international system of units mapping,” Sham Khamkar, deputy director of land records, had told this paper in an interview.
Such has been the extreme neglect of this stone, that on one occasion it was half-buried under the pavement as a result of carelessness on the part of a civic contractor. It was, then, being used as a sitting stand by a fruit seller and till recently, the neglected spot on the footpath was used to store brooms and sundry items by a roadside tea vendor.
Through numerous news reports and interactions with civic officials and elected representatives, HT has been repeatedly highlighting the need to restore and protect the Zero Stone heritage structure. This initiative gathered momentum after it was discussed once again at a HT Round Table in the presence of mayor Mukta Tilak, the then civic commissioner Kunal Kumar, Arvind Shinde and others. Former standing committee chairman Murlidhar Mohol also took keen interest in the restoration proposed for the structure.
“I feel sorry that I was not aware of the significance of this structure even though it is located in my ward. All over the world, Zero Stones are preserved by local governments. Pune is a historic city and it is our duty to preserve this heritage. This has been delayed but now we will restore it in such a way that tourists and students will visit this spot regularly,” Shinde said during his visit to the spot.
Grasping the full significance of the heritage structure, he said that after its restoration and beautification, the Zero Stone will become a part of Pune’s heritage walks and a “selfie point” for visiting tourists.