Friday, October 31, 2014

Shifting of Tipu’s armoury soon

R. Krishna Kumar

Bangalore–Mysore track-doubling work to gain momentum

The shifting of the 18th century armoury belonging to Tipu Sultan, which was hindering the progress of track-doubling work between Bangalore and Mysore, will commence in due course.
The armoury at the Srirangapatana railway station bisects the alignment of the second track, which cannot be laid until the monument is shifted.
Sources in the South Western Railway told The Hindu that when the tender was floated last year inviting bids to translocate the monument, there were no takers.
The tenders were floated again in June this year and M/s PSL-Wolfe Pvt. Ltd., which is a firm registered in New Delhi, was awarded the contract.
Translocation of the armoury as a single block entails moving it from the floor level from its existing location to a new site 100 metres away.
This is done by inserting a suitable supporting system underneath the monument, lifting it using unified hydraulic jacks and transporting it on suitably-designed carriers.
Besides, the project also envisages placing the heritage structure at the new location in the same orientation as at present and integrating the structure with the new foundation.
Project cost
In the process, no damage should be caused to the historic structure which was used to store arms and ammunitions. Sources said this will be the first time that a monument would be translocated as a single block, though many structures have been dismantled and reassembled again.
The project will cost about Rs. 13.66 crore and has to be completed in 9 months from the date of commencement and during this period, the Pandavapura-Srirangapatana-Naganahalli section will operate as a single-line section.
Once the monument is shifted, the 13-km single-line stretch on this section will be converted into a double-line section.
The Bangalore-Mysore double line work is officially slated to be completed by March 2015, but for the Naganahalli-Pandavpura section till the monument was shifted.
Shifting of the armoury was a major roadblock impeding the pace of the track-doubling work ever since it was noticed in early 2008, and initially there was resistance from the State Archaeological Survey.
However, a Cabinet decision was taken to shift the monument but this had to be cleared by the National Monument Authority of the Archaeological Survey of India which gave its clearance in early 2013.
Archaeological experts had pointed out then that the structure was made of lime mortar and bricks and hence could not be dismantled as in case of structures built using granite or slab stones.
There was considerable delay when the ASI had urged the Railways to realign the track but it was dismissed as impractical as the supporting piers — on which two major bridges across the river Cauvery on either side of Srirangapatana railway station was to be laid — had already been completed.


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