“Chennai Corporation had requested CMRL to leave the statue of Pitty Theagaraya undisturbed”

The decision to temporarily shift the statue of Pitty Theagaraya, the first president of Madras Corporation, on the premises of Ripon Building for the Metro Rail project has been put on hold. A team of Chennai Metro Rail Limited officials, including its Managing Director K.Rajaraman, visited Ripon Building on Wednesday and inspected the heritage structures that are likely to be shifted to facilitate the construction of an underground station box.

“The Chennai Corporation had requested the CMRL to leave the statue of Pitty Theagaraya undisturbed. The CMRL has agreed to carry out the work without shifting the statue,” said D.Karthikeyan, Corporation Commissioner.

Engineers associated with the Metro Rail project had inspected the statue last week to chalk out a strategy to relocate it without damaging its heritage value.

The CMRL had also sought clearance from the Heritage Conservation Committee of Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority for the relocation of structures of heritage value on the premises.

Of the four statues on the premises, two statues would have to be shifted to facilitate the Metro Rail project. The statues to be shifted include those of George Frederick Samvel Marqvess of Ripon (Viceroy of India 1880-1884).

The statue of S. Sathyamurthy (Mayor of Madras 1939-1940) unveiled by former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1963 would also be shifted temporarily.

The statues would be placed in the same location after the completion of the Metro Rail work.

The Independence Day Golden Jubilee Memorial on the same premises would also be demolished and reconstructed after the completion of the project.

The statue of the first Mayor of Madras M.A. Muthiah, however, would not be shifted.

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