Two professors inspect LIC building in Chennai – cracks maybe caused by the ongoing Metro Rail work

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Professors from IIT-Madras on Wednesday inspected the crack that was spotted on the LIC building on Anna Salai a couple of weeks ago. Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) awaits the report to substantiate its claim that the cracks were not caused by the ongoing Metro Rail work nearby.

According to V. Somasundaram, chief general manager (construction), CMRL, two professors of the civil engineering department of IIT-Madras visited the spot on Wednesday morning. “Using fire tender cranes and a floating bridge we reached the top floors and inspected the crack,” he said.

According to Ravindra Gettu, professor in the building technology and construction management division of IIT-Madras’ civil engineering department, the team would have to inspect the crack a few more times before they zeroed in on the cause. “The report will be ready next week. It is too early to share our impressions,” he said. The five-member team that inspected the crack on Wednesday included, besides the two professors, consultants specialising in testing techniques.

It was in mid-July that a crack was spotted on the 11 floor of the building which, LIC engineers attributed to the metro rail work going on right outside the building. However, CMRL denied the charge. CMRL officials said crack meters, tilt meters and building settlement markers were installed around metro rail construction sites.

Meanwhile, another IIT team inspected the CMRL worksite in Vadapalani, where the scaffolding that was used to construct a 15-feet-long pier arm on one of the pillars collapsed on July 26. Metro Rail officials had said the welding was weak and unable to withstand the load. “They will study how the accident happened and what went wrong exactly. Based on their report, we will decide changes in our work,” said a senior CMRL official.

The scaffolding fell from a height of 18 metres. “The report will be handed over to us in a couple of days,” said Mr. Somasundaram. – The Hindu