A historical arch, built during the erstwhile Pudukottai Samasthanam era in the heart of the town, which got weakened, was demolished on Saturday.

The arch popularly known as the ‘Victoria Arch’, was built about one-and-a-half centuries ago in commemoration of the diamond jubilee of the Queen Victoria Empress of India.

Using stone and lime, the arch depicted the image of the Empress, flanked by a horse and a lion in a victorious gesture. The structure, constructed on the East Main Street, got weakened after some unidentified heavy vehicle hit it in May. The road was closed to traffic as a preventive measure.

The intermittent showers in the last couple of weeks further weakened the arch. In the early hours of the day, a few stones fell on the road, indicating its unsound stability.

The District Collector, A. Suganthi, immediately ordered its demolition.

It was a swift operation which lasted for less than 40 minutes. The structure was so weak that the stones and decorative pillars came crumbling instantly.

The Superintendent of Police, P. Moorthy; the Executive Engineer, Public Works Department, Prakasam and the Divisional Engineer, Highways, Durairaj were among those who supervised the safe demolition process. A similar arch at an interior village near Rayavaram has, however, been in tact.