The 152-year-old CSI Wesley Tamil Aalayam on Broadway has developed cracks due to the ongoing Chennai Metro Rail tunnelling work, confirmed officials of Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL).
Constructed in 1861, the church was classified as a ‘Grade 2A’ heritage building in the Justice E. Padmanabhan Committee report, a document that lists heritage structures in the city.
The cracks developed late on Friday night when a tunnel boring machine (TBM) was drilling underneath the church as part of the tunnelling work on the Mannady-Madras High Court stretch.
“We have spotted about 5-6 cracks with a width of 0.2-0.3 mm in the hall of the church. We have already started the repair work and it will be completed in a day or two. We have assured the church authorities that service can be conducted tomorrow and members of the church can go in without any fear,” said an official.
Workers of the church said they woke up to vibrations around 1.30am on Saturday. “We didn’t know at that point that the Metro Rail work caused the vibrations. We noticed many cracks in the morning and then enquired with Metro staff who confirmed that it was the effect of tunnelling work,” said 30-year-old S. Pushparaj.