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Updated: March 30, 2013 14:20 IST

Corporation drops micro tunnelling option to lay sewer lines around Srirangam temple

S. Ganesan
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The special provision was incorporated as the network has to run across narrow strips of land between rear side of houses and ramparts of the temple. File Photo: R. M. Rajarathinam
The Hindu
The special provision was incorporated as the network has to run across narrow strips of land between rear side of houses and ramparts of the temple. File Photo: R. M. Rajarathinam

Owing to fears of possible damage to the historic structure

The Tiruchi Corporation has shelved its plans to go in for micro tunnelling to lay underground sewer lines around the ramparts of the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangam, owing to fears of possible damage to the historic structure.

The Corporation had previously planned to lay the sewer lines, as part of an underground drainage scheme for the omitted areas sanctioned by the government, using micro tunnelling technology in immediate surroundings of the temple ramparts.

The special provision was incorporated to provide the underground sewer line in Chithra, Uthira Veedhis and Adayavalanjan in Srirangam as the network has to run across narrow strips of land between the rear side of houses and the ramparts of the temple.

However, after a technical study by the Commissionerate of Municipal Administration and experts from the National Institute of Technology it was felt that the vibration that would be caused by micro tunnelling could possibly damage the ramparts. It was felt that the move could be taken up only after a pilot project.

But Corporation sources said that the cost of a pilot project by itself could prove to be very expensive and hence it has been decided not to go in for the technology.

Corporation Commissioner V.P.Thandapani told The Hindu on Friday that the sewer line for the four lanes would be laid separately using conventional methods after the boulders that have fallen off the ramparts were cleared by the HR&CE Department.

He pointed out boulders from the ramparts had fallen off in many places in an 8.8 km stretch and these have to be used again in the renovation of the structure.

Already, the ramparts are already being repaired in some stretches. The Corporation had prepared a separate estimate for laying the sewer lines through normal procedure in a 2.2 km stretch along the rampart, where the boulders have already been cleared.

The HR&CE Department is also said to be drawing a separate proposal for clearing the boulders and renovating the damaged portions of the rampart. The sewer line would be laid after the boulders were removed.

The State government has already accorded administrative sanction to the extension of the underground drainage scheme for the omitted areas in Srirangam under phase I of expansion of the sewer system in the city. Under this phase, residential colonies spread over a radius of 10.53 square kilometres in Srirangam and Thiruvanaikovil areas would be brought under the sewer network.

The Corporation has now called for tenders leaving out the four lanes. The Corporation Council, at its meeting on Thursday, approved a resolution finalising the tender for the project with the exclusion of the four lanes. Work on the project is set to begin in the next few months after the award of the contract.

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