Over 200-year-old building is on the move, literally, to make way for a railroad track. The armoury of Tipu Sultan in Srirangapatna – foundation and all – mounted on hydraulic rams, moved 25 meters on Tuesday. The destination of the 1000-ton monument is 100 meters away, at a spot picked by the Archeological Survey of India. The premier agency in charge of all protected monuments is keeping a hawk’s eye on this delicate procedure.
The armoury is a single storey brick masonry structure with an arched roof, built by Tipu Sultan between 1782 and 1799. As per historians, it is made of hollow bricks, lime and stone mortar. A processed mixture of eggs with shells and jaggery has been utilized to maintain the effectiveness of gun powder and weapons regardless of climate.
This is the first time such a structure is being moved in India. There being no satisfactory technology here, an US-based organization, Wolfe, has undertaken the venture in a joint venture with New Delhi-based PSL Engineering. The railways will spend around Rs. 13.5 crore for the relocation – an exercise made necessary as the monument sat on the way of the proposed Bengaluru-Mysuru railway track.
While the plan has been in pipeline for some time, work began a few weeks prior as experts uncovered the soil around the structure and inserted beams to lift it.
On Monday, the work to move the monument began. It is probably going to reach its new area on Thursday. After that it is expected to take two months to separate the structure from the iron beams and place it on a cemented platform which has been prepared.
The railways plans to begin track work from next week and finish the pending stretch in 15 days.