Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) will not begin repair work on the two churches in Broadway for at least the next two days, as officials are waiting for a report from IIT-Madras experts who have inspected both buildings.
The 152-year-old CSI Wesley Tamil Aalayam and the 121-year-old Arcot Lutheran Church on Prakasam Salai in Broadway, developed cracks due to ongoing Metro Rail tunnelling work in the area.
Both buildings have been classified as ‘Grade 2A’ heritage structures by the Justice E. Padmanabhan committee report that lists heritage buildings in the city.
“We, along with engineering experts from IIT-M inspected both buildings on Tuesday. The experts will now prepare a report on the nature of the damage and measures that can be taken to restore the buildings. Only after the report comes in, will we begin repair work,” said a CMRL official. If the repair work was on over the weekend, Sunday services in both churches could be affected, he said.
“However we are still unsure about when we will begin. In any case, we don’t plan to evacuate the buildings during the repair work,” the official said.
Meanwhile, the tunnel-boring machine has bored underneath the Arcot Lutheran Church and moved forward.
CMRL officials had earlier told The Hindu that the cracks in buildings on Prakasam Salai were expected and unavoidable since the area is very congested and soil conditions are unpredictable.
“Despite precautionary measures, such cracks occur since most buildings on this stretch are very old,” said an official.