Work on the two structures, which developed cracks due to Metro work, will be completed by this week, officials said

Repair work on the two churches on Prakasam Salai in Broadway that developed cracks due to Metro Rail work has begun, and is progressing well.

The 152-year-old CSI Tamil Wesley Church and the 121-year-old Arcot Lutheran Church — classified as Grade 2A heritage structures by the Justice E. Padmanabhan Committee Report —were damaged last month, when a tunnel boring machine (TBM) drilled underneath the churches as part of underground Metro Rail work from Mannady to Madras High Court.

Restoration work was begun for the Arcot church last week and for the CSI Tamil Wesley church on Saturday. While the Arcot Lutheran Church had suffered only a few minor cracks, the CSI Tamil Wesley Church had a few cracks that were 10 mm wide and a few others that were about 2-3 mm wide.

“We started repair work on the churches last week and plan to complete it soon. The work is being carried out as per suggestions given by experts from IIT-Madras who had inspected the churches,” said an official of Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL).

The IIT-M experts, who had examined the structures, had recommended soil tests for both. They had also said the cracks would not affect the stability of the buildings as they were not serious.

“There has been no damage to the foundation of the buildings. We are trying to plaster the cracks with special cement and we intend to complete the work by this weekend,” said the official.

So far, the first TBM has tunnelled over 450 metres and will reach Madras High Court sometime next week, an official said.

In March, CMRL officials said that 18 of the 740 buildings under which the TBM bored through in the Washermanpet-Mannady stretch developed fresh cracks.


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