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Radar Scans Reveal Internal Cracks on Iconic CSMT Dome


Radar Scans Reveal Internal Cracks on Iconic CSMT Dome
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Architects are currently undertaking the restoration of the 143-year old Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT), previously known as Victoria Terminus. Conservation architects utilized radars to scan the area and identify cracks in the structure’s iconic dome. On-site experts have now said that the scans have shown structural and material cracking in the building. 

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The dome of CSMT reportedly started leaking a few years ago while it has reportedly gotten worse after the monsoons that followed. Though Central Railway (CR) tried to seal the joints of the outer surface, this didn’t bear much fruit. 

CSMT’s restoration is done under the periphery of the structural engineer and conservation architect chosen for the project, Chetan Raikar. He said that a drone survey was conducted in March while the radar scan was conducted in November. Radar scanning gave the officials an excellent idea about the internal cracks that cannot be seen from outside.

The use of drones also meant that those conducting the work didn’t have to physically go on top of the dome to inspect it. 

“The 143-year-old dome supports the Statue of Progress which weighs approximately 5 tonnes. It is a great mystery how they must have lifted this statue made out of a single piece of stone to that height in those days”, Raikar said.

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“Radar is a modern non-destructive testing technique used by engineers for assessing heritage structures. It works on the principle of sending electromagnetic waves through the material to assess the interiors,” an official from CR said.

Officials will have to strengthen the dome while also dealing with the cracks to ensure there’s no leakage. “The real challenge is going to be implementing a scheme that is compliant with heritage norms of this magnificent structure,” an officer mentioned.

As for when the restoration will be completed, Chief Public Relations Officer at CR, Shivaji Sutar said, “We are utilising the lockdown and unlock period, where there is less movement of passengers, to do the work. We hope to complete the work by the end of the year.”

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