London, Sep 28 (IANS) Scaffolding hiding the roof of the Elizabeth Tower, which houses London's iconic Big Ben, will begin to be removed this after three years of extensive renovation.
The top of the tower will be visible again but work will continue on the rest of the famous structure, Sky News reported on Sunday.
Taking down the scaffolding will take six weeks and will reveal 3,433 cast iron roof tiles which were removed and repaired in a specialist workshop.
Crumbling stone work and leaks were also fixed as part of the conservation work.
Reacting to the development, House of Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle said in a statement: "Like everyone else, I have been looking forward to seeing the scaffolding come down on Elizabeth Tower - so the unveiling of the roof will be a memorable moment.
"We could all do with some good news in this Covid-19 world, so it is very exciting to actually see some more of this great icon.
"I am hoping the conservation work that has taken place on the tower - an important symbol of our democracy - will assure its place in London's skyline for generations to come."
The four-year restoration scheme of the Elizabeth Tower began in 2017, reports Sky News.
In February, it was revealed that the cost of the renovation had risen by almost a third to 79.7 million pounds.
The increase has been blamed on the discovery of asbestos, pollution and extensive Second World War bomb damage in the Elizabeth Tower.
The four clock dials on the outside of the tower contain a total of 1,296 individual pieces of glass, each of which need to be replaced as part of the restoration work.
The clock - which weighs 12 tonnes - has been dismantled and taken away for a complete overhaul.
The Elizabeth Tower is often mistakenly called Big Ben, but that latter name only refers to the bell that occupies part of it.
It only gained its current name, having previously been called the Clock Tower, when it was renamed in honour of the Queen to mark her diamond jubilee in 2012.
By Qaiser Mohammad Ali
New Delhi, Oct 21 (IANS) Ruchir Modi, the only son of business tycoon and Indian Premier League (IPL) founder Lalit Modi, hopes that the family business dispute, now in the Delhi High Court would be resolved soon, expressing his "full faith" in the Indian judiciary.
In an exclusive interview with IANS, Ruchir, who is a stakeholder and occupies several key positions in the Modi group of companies, said that he hoped a judgment would be delivered soon to settle the Krishan Kumar Modi Family Trust issue, which is a bone of contention between various members of the clan. This issue arose after the death of KK Modi in November last year.
"I am hoping it will be resolved soon. I have full faith in the Delhi High Court and in the Indian judicial system. So, I am hoping that a judgement would be passed soon and we can move forward with the business and the business decisions that need to be made as soon as possible. I don't have a time frame around that," Ruchir, 26, told IANS from his London home.
"I am not a party to the case. But I am a beneficiary of the KK Modi Family Trust. Therefore, I am an interested party in the matter. But I am not fighting the case. The matter is still sub-judice so I can't really make a comment on it. The matter is currently before the Delhi High Court," he said.
Two factions in the KK Modi Group are not in agreement on the legal forum to approach vis-à-vis the sale of the estate and distribution of the proceeds. In March, the Delhi High Court had dismissed a plea filed by Bina Modi, wife of late KK Modi, to restrain her son Lalit Modi from starting arbitration proceedings in Singapore to settle the estate of her husband. Her other son Samir Modi and daughter Charu Bhartia have joined the case.
Ruchir is Executive Director in Modi Enterprises, Executive Director in the KK Modi Group, Director in Godfrey Phillips India Ltd, and Brand Head in FTV India. In Godfrey Phillips, he oversees Corporate Governance and the International Business Division. His current focus is on Godfrey Phillips and the settlement of the KK Modi Family Trust.
To concentrate on his business, Ruchir, a former president of the Alwar District Cricket Association in Rajasthan, has dissociated himself from cricket administration in India.
"My grandfather passed away in November last year (2019). Since then I am very, very busy in terms of company work as well as we are looking at settling the entire family trust and disinvesting all our businesses which is a big task on its own to disinvest companies like Godfrey Philips, Indofil Industries, and Modicare. They are all major corporates in India. That is taking a significant chunk of my time as well," he said.
The Covid pandemic has kept Ruchir away from India, but he plans to shuttle between London and India as soon as travel becomes convenient.
"For now, I am in London due to the Covid situation. I haven't actually come back to India, and London is obviously home to me and I am working out of here. Today, given the technology we have, we can work from anywhere in the world. But, to answer your question, I do plan to travel between India and London and spend most of time between India and London," he said.
Ruchir attended the American School in Mumbai, and after completing his 10th grade there, moved to The American School in London. He received a bachelor's degree in Global Business Management from Regents Business School London. Away from business, he is an avid traveller and has a keen interest in innovation, especially in the start-up sector.