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Metro work not to blame for cracks in Siddharth College: MMRCL

Published On : 06 Oct 2017   |  Reported By : Courtesy: The Hindu   |  Pic On: Photo credit : The Hindu

Mumbai, (The Hindu): The Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) held a meeting on Friday to address the concerns raised by students of Siddharth College of Commerce and Economics regarding high noise and vibration levels due to the ongoing digging and piling work for Metro 3 project.

On Thursday, the students of the college, a Grade-II heritage building located on D.N. Road in Fort, had organised a signature campaign on campus to bring attention to the cracks in the structure caused by the Metro construction work.

Following strong tremors in the building, Umaji Mhaske, the principal of the college, had written to the Chief Minister requesting that Metro work be halted. Mr. Mhaske said after the Metro drilling work began there were many instances of ceiling plaster crumbling and iron rods falling down in the building, which accommodates around 5,000 people. A part of the dome on J.N. Petit Library, founded in 1856 by students of Elphinstone College, collapsed following the Metro digging work.

However, the authorities said an assessment revealed that the cracks in the structure existed even before the Metro work began. Authorities said crack monitoring meters had been installed in the building to ensure existing cracks did not widen due to piling work.

‘Safety check conducted’

S.K. Gupta, director of projects, MMRCL, said: “We do a complete survey of all the buildings that fall within the 50-metre radius of the Metro work. It is a multi-layered process with protocols that conducted by experienced contractors, safety managers and engineers. A detailed report is prepared for every building mentioning the degrees of vibration, noise it will be able to bear. Every building is rated on a five-point scale. The project is designed on the report.”

However, Mr. Gupta did not reveal the ratings issued to J.N Petit Library and Siddharth College saying it would amount to violation of privacy of the owners. He said, “We don’t leave anything to chance but the people need to understand that every other building or house has cracks that does not stop them from staying in them. These are cracks that buildings develop as they age. Vibrations around heritage and weak structures have not even crossed 50% of the permissible limit.”

The MMRCL authorities said that piling work would be over by December-end following which the excavation work would begin. The project is estimated to be completed by 2021.

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