The Chennai Metro Rail Limited will temporarily shift the statue of Pitty Theagaraya, the first president of Madras Corporation, on the premises of Ripon Building, to facilitate the construction of an underground station box.

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

CMRL Managing Director K. Rajaraman said that the CMRL has already sought clearance from the Heritage Conservation Committee of Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority to temporarily relocate the statue elsewhere on the same premises.

The Heritage Conservation Committee has asked the CMRL to furnish records of the design of the station box before the relocation of the heritage structure.

The statue was unveiled by Governor of Madras Sir. George Frederick Stanely in 1931.

A piece of land, including the exit and entrance of the Ripon Building campus on EVR Periyar Salai, has been temporarily demarcated to facilitate construction of the two-level Chennai Central Metro Station.

The station would be a node for the two Metro Rail corridors. The CMRL would also hold discussions with the Chennai Corporation to ensure that heritage structure is not affected during the relocation.

The statue would be placed in the same location after one year after the construction of the structure, said Mr. Rajaraman.

The underground Chennai Central Metro Station has been proposed to be constructed in an area covering the parking area of the Central station, portions of land on the premises of Victoria Public Hall, Hotel Picnic and Ripon Building.

The common exit and entry for the two corridors and the ventilation shaft of the station would come up on the premises. Some more structures on the premises would also be shifted.

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