Tunnelling work is suspected to be the reason; CMRL promises repairs

A four-storey building in Broadway developed several cracks on Friday as a result of Chennai Metro Rail work. Residents of STS complex on Anna Pillai Street in Broadway noticed the cracks on the walls of their houses early in the morning.

Officials of Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) said the damage was due to the underground tunnelling work progressing between Mannady and Madras High Court.

“The second and third floors of the building have been affected by these cracks. While about 5-6 cracks are minor — of about 2-3 mm width — one of them is a major crack with a width of 6-8 mm.But we are yet to come to a conclusion. We are analysing what may have caused this damage,” said an official.

Crack metres were placed on the walls to measure them and it was found that one of the cracks had widened, he added.

Mohammed Yousuf (56), the original owner of the 14-year-old complex which has 22 apartments, said “Cracks have developed in the walls of seven apartments due to tunnelling. Chennai Metro Rail officials promised to begin repair work in a few days and also assured us that the building was safe. I don’t know how far this is true.”

M.H. Rashida (42) a resident of an apartment, said that none of the residents was aware that work was on underneath. “I woke up around 5 a.m. on Friday and saw the cracks on my drawing room wall. We should at least have been informed that drilling was on. I bought this house just two years ago and it is already damaged,” she added. The flooring has also been severely affected in some of the apartments, sources said.

A nationalised bank and a few other commercial establishments also operate from this complex.

Sources said that the walls of these establishments too sported fresh cracks. The glass windows and doors of some commercial establishments too shattered due to tunnelling work, said one of the shopkeepers.

In July, two churches, CSI Tamil Wesley Church and Arcot Lutheran Church also developed cracks due to underground tunnelling work.

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