Cracks developed in Ripon building, Chennai after 2012 renovation - needs prompt attention

cracks in the Ripon building, Chennai

cracks in the Ripon building, Chennai

The century-old 3-  story all white colonial Ripon Building (built in 1913) near the MGR Central Railway Station, Chennai city  named for Viceroy of British India  Lord Ripon (1880 to 1884) developed cracks due to ongoing Chennai Metro Rail works, or it could be due to official apathy in maintaining the heritage structure.  City Corporation officials claim the cracks, visibly prominent ones, started appearing only after 2012 when the CMRL began works on the underground stretch of metro rail. Till end of December 2019 the  cracks are left unattended and they have spread to upper floors! Visitors claim that there are  many cracks in the interior as well as on the outer walls. The widening cracks in the colonial structure seem to be a major cause of concern about its valuable heritage elements. Major conservation work was done in 2012-13 (cost:Rs.7.7 Cr) with guidance from experts belonging to INTACH, Madras Chapter, ASI and Archaeology state department. No doubt special care was taken by them as the building happened to be a classic example of Neo-classical, Indo-Saracenic and Gothic Corinthian styles - all blended together.
cracks in the Ripon building,

Above image: City corporation puts sandbags to hold up a part of the 106-year-old Ripon Building, Chennai to stop further damages....  ..

According to the TOI report (Nov.11, 20180, ''Every wall and room in the 106-year-old heritage building, s seat of the civic body, sports at least one crack, with some .employees saying the supporting structures in some parts are falling apart''.

Various media reports point out that the cracks developed in 2012 itself  when Chennai Metro Rail Ltd (CMRL) began drilling near the historical building, but the cracks were promptly fixed.  However in 2015, the cracks re-appeared  and  caused some anxiety to the civic officials and others involved in the rail project. Several  of the minor cracks become bigger enough to seek the technical advice of the structural engineers. now. In 2016, a team from IIT Madras’s structural engineering department, upon study,  suggested that the cause of cracks was due to drilling. However, no conclusive  opinion was made by them. During the metro rail work was  in progress in 2012, it was observed that  countless buildings close to the line of work developed cracks in the walls, etc.  Upon scrutiny,  the corporation officials came to the conclusion that they could have been caused by leaks in the metro water pipe line along the route  and the dampness  could have weakened the buildings. 

The civic body, the state and centra governments should look into this damages in the Ripon building, a legacy of the British in Chennai.