ASI takes up conservation works of World War I Memorial Arch near Tiruchi

MP Tiruchi Siva inaugurating the conservation works at the memorial arch on Sunday.

MP Tiruchi Siva inaugurating the conservation works at the memorial arch on Sunday. | Photo Credit: M. SRINATH

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Trichy Circle, has taken up conservation works on a century-old World War I Memorial Arch to preserve the heritage structure, currently in a dilapidated state.

The commemorative arch established at Keela Valadi, a few kilometres away from Tiruchi, was built during the colonial era, recognising the role of Indian soldiers in the victory of the Allied Powers in World War I.

The arch, standing about 5.75 metres tall, is locally known as ‘Pachampettai Valaivu’ and serves as a gateway for villagers of Periyavar Seeli, Mayil Arangam, Pachampettai and Thirumanamedu villages to the Tiruchi-Lalgudi main road. According to the inscription on the arch, the structure was installed by Dewan Bahadur G. Krishnamachariyar and opened by Dewan Bahadur Sir T. Desikachariyar, the then president of the Trichinopoly District Board, on August 10, 1922.

“Lest We Forget”, the engraving on top of the arch, had become dilapidated over the years, languishing in neglect for long. “The ASI, Trichy Circle, has taken up conservation works on the dilapidated arch with a view of preserving the century-old heritage structure at a cost of ₹6.7 lakh”, says T. Arun Raj, Director, ASI, Trichy Circle. The plan is to complete the conservation works by June end, he said, adding that works had been taken up to highlight lesser known monuments under unprotected monuments category.

The conservation works on the historic structure would be done keeping in mind the monument ethic and without disturbing its existing heritage look, says Mr. Arun Raj. The arch’s damaged remains will be restored with special bricks in lime mortar.

A function was organised to inaugurate the conservation works on Sunday. Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) Rajya Sabha member Tiruchi N. Siva was the chief guest. Mr. Siva had taken up the initiative to protect and conserve the structure by writing to the ASI, New Delhi which subsequently granted approval. He said it was an extremely happy occasion for him.

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Printable version | Jun 25, 2022 10:25:50 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/asi-takes-up-conservation-works-of-world-war-i-memorial-arch-near-tiruchi/article65068085.ece