On Sunday night, despite two days of work, the arches of Anna Nagar remained rooted to the spot where they were erected decades ago. The arches are being removed to facilitate the construction of two flyovers at a cost of Rs. 117 crore at the junction of Poonamallee High Road and Anna Nagar 3 Avenue.

Police had given permission to stop traffic beneath one of the arches where a crane held up the arch as work progressed. Even as a large crowd of onlookers gathered in the vicinity, teams of workers were seen working on the arches. Sources said that one of the diamond cutters used to dismantle the arch stopped working mid-way.

Statue taken down

The statue of former Chief Minister C.N. Annadurai was taken down and workers also broke down the pedestal on which it was installed.

The statue stood in the space between the arches. The arch was constructed by the Madras Corporation at a cost of Rs.12 lakh to commemorate the platinum jubilee of the former Chief Minister.

An expert in demolishing such structures said that instead of using diamond cutters, an easier way was to “drill holes into the structure and fill explosive chemical into the apertures. After an hour or so, the concrete would lose its strength. We usually use this technique when construction is done on river beds. We would cast slightly more concrete than is required and after the concrete reaches the rock layer at the bottom, we would cut off the excess portion on top. Explosives would not be used as it could lead to the weakening od the structure or remove more than is required,” he explained.

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