The Indian Railways is all set to carry out a unique engineering operation of its kind for the first time in India.
Engineers will be shifting whole Tipu Sultan’s armoury in Srirangapatana 100 meters from its current location to make way for a double-line railway track.
This shifting of the historical building, a first in India, will be done using the most advanced and tested civil engineering methods.
In layman’s terms, the entire building will be lifted from floor level and moved to a new location where it will be laid on a newly built foundation.
TOI reports that such is the complexity of the translocation that no company responded to a tender floated in 2013 calling for bids to carry out the task.
It was only in June 2014 that some applied and M/s PSL-Wolfe Pvt. Ltd. was awarded the contract. PSL is a Delhi-based firm while Wolfe House Movers is an American company having an expertise in structure relocation.
Structure shifting of this scale has never been done in India. Being a historical monument, the shifting of Tipu’s armoury will be a humongous task for the engineers.
It is not that Indian engineers have no expertise in structure relocation as a house in Coimbatore was successfully shifted 35-40 feet from its original location by an Indian company, and so was a 300-year-old temple in Ayyanur, Tamil Nadu.
The project will cost about Rs.13.66 crore and has to be completed in 9 months.
The National Design & Research Forum, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and the National Monuments Authority (NMA) have given their permission for shifting the armoury.
Structure relocation is not unusual in the West as many historical buildings have been moved using a network of jacks. Some such buildings are Hamilton Grange National Memorial and London’s Marble Arch.