By Bilal Kuchay
Indian railway authorities have moved a 225-year-old heritage building – weighing over 1000 tonnes – by about 130 metres to make way for a train track.
The massive mega structure was moved using a complex network of beams and hydraulic jacks – making sure the building remained intact while it was being moved.
A typical single-storey masonry structure with arch roofing system, the heritage armoury was one of the ten structures built to store gunpowder and weapons by emperor Tipu Sultan. A warrior king,Tipu Sultan ruled the kingdom of Mysore between 1782 and 1799.
“The entire heritage building was shifted 130 metres away from its existing location without causing any damage to the protected property,” a railway ministry official said.
37 jacks were pressed into service to lift and move the armoury building. The jacks were connected with the unifying jacking system for simultaneous and synchronised operation to prevent any unequal lifting and damages to the structure.
The first-of-its kind move by the railways to translocate a heritage property in the country was undertaken successfully with the help of an American engineering company.
Ravichandra, deputy chief engineer of the railways said: “We could not alter the rail line as there were other monuments of archaeological importance falling in the way on the track. So moving this one was the best option.
“But we had to make sure that no damage was caused to the heritage building.”
The exercise of translocating the monument was done at an estimated cost of £1.6 million.