KARNATAKA

Another hurdle in the way of shifting Tipu's armoury

Efforts to shift the 18th century armoury at the Srirangapatna station, an important step in completing the Mysore-Bangalore track doubling work, has been put off by at least six months because of the monsoon.

The armoury, which was constructed during the period of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan, is next to the broad gauge track; it comes in the way of the second track being planned parallel to the existing one.

Imposing task

R. Gopal, director, Archaeology and Museums, told The Hindu that the Cabinet had authorised the shifting of the monument.

“The Archaeology Department [which protects the monument] does not have the requisite manpower or technical know-how to take up the task of shifting the monument, which is made of lime and mortar. Hence, we gave permission to the Railways to execute the work,” he said.

Mr. Gopal pointed out that the armoury was a massive monument with the foundations going 15 feet deep, and walls 3 ft thick. It was 30 ft wide and 40 ft long, and shifting it required special equipment.

Awaiting permission

Meanwhile, senior officials in the construction wing of the Railways said they had obtained local clearance, but were yet to receive permission from the Archaeological Survey of India to go ahead with the work.

“The Railways has a heritage cell with experience of construction and conservation, but this is still a new project for us. There are reputed agencies with the technical know-how and the Railways will tap them,” the sources said.

They confirmed that no civil work could be taken up till December. “The place for shifting the monument has been identified and once the work is commissioned, it will take about four months to shift the armoury,” the sources added.

Delay

The delay in shifting the monument may force the Railways to extend the deadline for completion of track doubling work. Sources said the entire project may be completed by April 2014.

While shifting the armoury has been put off, work on the Cauvery North and Cauvery South bridges have made brisk progress. Officials here said the sub-structure work of the two bridges was over and the tender for the steel super structure was likely to be called in two weeks.

The authorities plan to have bowstring-arch bridges. While Cauvery North bridge will span 325 metres, Cauvery South will be 275 m long. Both will be 13 m wide.



Armoury comes in the way of second track being planned parallel to the existing one

‘Yet to receive permission from ASI to go ahead with the work'






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