Metro Rail work causing new cracks

Wearing away: The cracks on Ripon Buildings are expanding due to Metro Rail excavation.  

Visitors to Ripon Buildings, Greater Chennai Corporation’s seat of power, have been noticing new cracks on the façade which are now visible from the road itself.

Experts from Gujarat will visit the Ripon Buildings on November 14 to start repair work in the heritage structure.

According to Corporation engineers, Metro Rail has been excavating below the foundation of the building located on the arterial Poonamallee High Road, close to Chennai Central where it plans a massive city centre.

The Ripon Buildings has a ‘well foundation.’ Excavation here led to cracks which have been widening, says a engineer at the corporation. The Metro Rail officials monitor the building on a daily basis and the IIT-Madras has also prepared a report.

According to sources, the Metro Rail has informed the Corporation that the cracks have been stable for the past 45 days, and suitable for commencing repair work.

“Workers from Gujarat will reach here next week. They will use imported steel for reinforcement and stitch the cracks using a specialised technology. The work, estimated at ₹54 lakh will be completed in two months,” said a civic official.

“The cracks near the tower clock has become visible only after the onset of the northeast monsoon. The building seems to be affected by the excavation. The data should be analysed by more engineers, not just a few experts from select institutions,” an employee of the Corporation demanded.

‘No data made public’

Councillors of the previous Corporation Council had asked for the data collected by Metro Rail on the structural condition of the building to assess the damage. But the Metro Rail officials had been reiterating that their work had not caused the damage to the heritage building. The report submitted by IIT-M and Metro Rail officialson the cracks have also not been made public, they charged.

A few years ago, material collapsed from a portion of the Corporation Council hall on the seats that are usually occupied by the AIADMK councillors. The civic body has already spent over₹23 crore on restoration of the heritage building.

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Printable version | Dec 4, 2020 11:23:33 AM |

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