Saturday, October 3, 2015

Shifting of Tipu’s armoury may take time

Track doubling will pave the way for introduction of additional trains between Mysuru and Bengaluru.—PHOTO: M.A. SRIRAM

The ongoing track doubling work between Mysuru and Bengaluru is expected to be completed by January 31 next year, but for a short stretch on the Srirangapatana-Pandavpura section.

This will pave the way for introduction of additional trains between Mysuru and Bengaluru besides reducing commuting time between the two cities. However, the second track at Srirangapatana station bisects the Tipu’s armoury. It is in the process of being shifted and may take more time.

“However, in all probability, the work on the entire stretch, including the shifting of Tipu’s armoury, is expected to be over by March 31,” according to Mysuru Divisional Railway Manager Rajkumar Lal. Speaking to presspersons on the sidelines of a function to mark the anniversary of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan here on Friday, he said the work was going on at a brisk pace and the project was expected to be over by the end of the current financial year.

Mr. Lal said that the shifting of the armoury had been outsourced to Wolfe Private Ltd., a U.S.-based company, which had expertise in it and the entire monument would be relocated in view of its heritage value.

The armoury is dated to 18th century, if not earlier, and was used as an ammunition depot by Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan. The structure was constructed using lime mortar and bricks and it has to be translocated to a new spot, 100 metres from the existing site without damaging it. This is for the first time that the railways have taken up translocation of a structure though many restoration and conservation works have been taken up in the past. The challenge is to shift the monument as a single mass as per the terms and conditions of the Archaeological Survey of India and the National Monuments Authority, without slicing it.

Pratap Simha, MP, said he would seek additional services to Bengaluru, including a fast shuttle train, but was awaiting the completion of the track doubling work.

Meanwhile, the work on the two bridges across the Cauvery at Srirangapatana had been completed but the steel girders were to be installed. It is likely to be ready in the next few months. Though it was originally planned to have bowstring arch bridges, the idea has been disbanded.


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