Impact of work on Ripon Buildings, Victoria Public Hall not shared for 3 months

The data collected by Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) to assess the structural condition of Ripon Buildings and Victoria Public Hall continues to be a closely guarded secret.

According to senior officials of Chennai Corporation, the CMRL has been delaying the submission of the monthly report based on compilation of such data for the past three months. Corporation officials stressed the need for the report being shared with them on a monthly basis so that the impact of the vibrations on the heritage buildings could be calculated. “The report would help us take measures to ensure that Ripon Buildings and Victoria Public Hall are structurally safe,” said an official of Chennai Corporation.

“I have not received any report from CMRL so far,” said Corporation Commissioner D. Karthikeyan.

The officials of CMRL collect data from eight different devices that have been installed on the premises of Ripon Buildings and Victoria Public Hall. The CMRL employees visit the premises two times a day to collect this data. The equipment used to assess conditions, CMRL officials say, include ground settlement meter, rod extension meter, inclinometer, building settlement marker, tilt meter, crack meter, optical target and tape extension meter. A senior official of CMRL said that “CMRL is committed to protection of heritage buildings.”

“We assess the technical parameters and accordingly alter the speed of machinery used in the course of operations.If we have a document that requires us to share such information with Chennai Corporation, we will respond appropriately,” he said. The data will help Chennai Corporation assess the safety of its key buildings by measuring minute movement across surface cracks and joints, vertical settlement, soil properties and small changes in Ripon Buildings from horizontal level.

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