Building the Farm Gate

Having settled with the Fence, my supervisor Subbu had created a make shift arrangement for entry into the farm.  The Tata Steel Link Mesh was to be removed from one of the pillars, rolled over in order to enter. Subsequently when you need to close the farm enterence, one has to roll-in the mesh and fasten it using still wire pieces.
This was not a good method and was prone to vandalism. Subbu had to stay back in the farm many nights in order to safeguard any leftover material and the farm itself. This cannot go ON for long. Something was needed and that was the gate.  So started my gate project.
I was exited at the thought of having a big gate at the enterence, which i wanted facing North. that means the means of entering from the main road will be through the buffer zone I reserved to be at 12 feet in bredth. From the road one has to go down the ramp and turn a sharp right. That means;
a) A Ramp to be made of mud for vehicle to move from main road which is on a tank bund to farm gate which is at ground level.
b) Degree of freedom required at the gate for a lorry to turn right at 90 degrees.
So my gate was to be of 20 feet in length (the longest gate I have ever seen) with each door having 10 feet distance.  Sitting from 1300 Kms away, i was doubtful of my own decision, but still I went ahead.
I was confident of my own decision. It is better to be big than compromise and get into trouble later. Secondy the gate enterance has to be bit moved inside for vehicles to ‘turn’ confortable.  Imagine a situation in which the adjascent land owner (housing colony) builds upto the border. Then I will be on my own 12 feet road and vehicle has to take a sharp 90deg turn into the farm.
Gate construction starts with identifying mason and ordering for gate.  The iron gate was to be ordered in Valiyoor after few enquiries.  I decided on the design after going through internet photos and communicated over mail/phone.  Subsequently I discovered that i need not scratch my brain too much. Just look around your colony in a city. You will find all kinds of gates. pick and choose one, photograph and send it. But it was too late. I had already decided.
This was kind of model i chose. Long gate and simple
Gate fabrication will be done at the workshop. It takes atleast 15 days to 20 days after paying advance to fabricate one.  There is no chance of changing your mind.
Meanwhile ground preparation is an important activity. The gate would weigh a ton. Therefore pillars are required to support the gate on either side. Since pillar also cannot withstand the test of time, whatever be the foundation, they need to be connected under the ground through horizontal concrete pillars. So it is a major project.  Cost was escalating and my supervisor was worried. I encouraged him all the time…..
Foundation work started

This work generates lot of labor. So i did’nt mind paying…

Gate pillar work under progress

Bricks are used to cast concrete horizontal pillar for strength

Another angle
Therefore two parallel activity was in progress, namely fabrication of Gate and construction of Pillars for support. Cost ?  it was also going up.  Now a new problem.  You cannot have two megasize pillars and a giant size gate of 20 feet width standing in middle of nowhere !.   How will it look like.  Therefore it was decided to construct side support collar walls to the pillars to a decent length. I also wanted a small gate in one of the walls so that only humans can enter it. the gate has to be so decided. I left the design open for the ground crew to decide. But later i learned that they lacked innovation. They had put only an ordinary conventional gate which must be kept closed.   These are small things that can be perfected only when the owner is on the spot. This is also the price i had to pay for operating from remote… anyway i was prepared for it.
Description Unit Rate Quantity Amount
Iron rods 80 365 29200
Labour charge 5 days 250 50 12500
Other expenses 200 10 2000
Cement, Concrete, Bricks 5000 7 35000
Gate 15000
My friend Subbu was mentioning that all villagers who are passing by thought that there is a big factory or company coming up.  He was laughing and saying that he was also part of gossip mill. I was worried.  When three lorries (actually two of the lorries were empty and the drivers were resting and chit chatting with our friends), few motorcycles, drums and hectic concrete activitywas going ON, who will not think otherwise.  For villagers, a Company means hope of employement as well as threat of environment.  For me it was cause of concern as cost of labour will escalate and people will misunderstand me. Therefore i wanted the work to be hurried up. Used all corporate ‘Followup” strategies.  So finally the fusion of Gate and Frame happened.
There was also necessity to construct side wall. foundation is seen

Completed Gate.

Having Completed the gate, i cannot hieve a sigh of relief. As you can see there is a gap under the gate which requires raising of floor..There is finishing to be done to the walls. There is a small gate pending. There is painting. There is decoration on the pillars.  So life goes on……

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