After crossing the heritage hurdle at P.Orr & Sons on Anna Salai, Chennai Metro Rail Limited wants to avoid any further risk. It has engaged a team of heritage experts from Central Building Research Institute, Roorkee, for guidance in construction of its station near Chennai Central.
The station, said CMRL officials, is surrounded by heritage structures such as Ripon Buildings housing the Chennai Corporation, Victoria Public Hall, and Chennai Central station itself. “As of now there is no danger, but we want to be careful and have engaged the experts to help us in this regard,” a CMRL official told The Hindu on Friday.
All three buildings are heritage structures that are over a century old. Chennai Central is the oldest, followed by Victoria Public Hall and then, Ripon Buildings, which is considered a fine example of Indo-Saracenic architecture.
Conservation architect K. Kalpana said it would be nice if CMRL took on board experts who have practical experience of working around heritage structures. “Much would depend on the alignment and proximity to these heritage structures. Those who have had experience in construction near heritage sites would be in a good position to guide CMRL,” she said.
Recently, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation is said to have contacted a Spain-based firm, asking it to study metro systems running close to heritage sites in Europe and share information on the technology used there. This expertise, reportedly, is to be shared with all other cities with ongoing metro rail projects.
On whether CMRL planned to engage international experts on heritage, a senior official said, “Not immediately. Delhi has several more heritage structures. Chennai does not have all that many,” he said.