Mumbai: The Gateway of India, one of the heritage structure in Mumbai, looking out over expanse of Arabian sea, is in a worrying shape showed recent structural examination.
The recent examination of the Grade-1 heritage structure showed that the domes' reinforced cement-concrete waterproofing has been damaged and cracks have developed along the facade with vegetation growth in them, a report in Hindustan Times read.
Maharashtra's Directorate of Archaeology and Museums sought government's permission to restore the site and has sent a proposal of Rs 6.9 crore. They are awaiting reply, the report stated.
Minister of Cultural Affairs alerted
The directorate has also informed Sudhir Mungantiwar, State Minister of Cultural Affairs on the deterioration of the monument with a presentation. Reportedly, the directorate claimed that the stone has been pitted by harsh cleaning done previously, and that the finishing of mortar seams between bricks and other masonry pieces has also deteriorated.
Abha Narain Lambah, a conservation architect and the archaeology department jointly conducted the examination of the monument' she prepared a comprehensive report of the same, the HT cited.
Efflorescence was also visible in stonework
The report quoted Tejas Garde, Director of Maharashtra Archaeology Department, saying that the efflorescence was also visible in the stonework. Efflorescence is caused by water entering a structure, evaporating later but leaving salt deposits behind. He said that the last repair work on the heritage structure was carried out in 2006.
Plan submitted for restoration of the monument also addresses the works to be undertaken on the surrounding pathway, steps down to the lake, old railings and bollards.
According to the report, the project is being viewed holistically by involving all relevant government agencies, Lambah stated.
Gateway of India managed by three agencies
The Gateway of India structure's ownership is with Mumbai Port Trust and the archaeological department maintains it and the BMC is in charge of surrounding areas. The BMC is in the process of beautifying the area surrounding Gateway.
The conservation architect Lambah was quoted saying that they are anticipating permit shortly so they could begin work at the start of monsoon because conservation of the monument will take a year.
Minister assures work will be done sooner
Minister Mungantiwar was cited saying that the work will start at the earliest due to damage the building has sustained.
The Gateway, a monument in the Indo-Saracenic architectural style, was erected in 1911 to mark the landing of Emperor George V, the first British king to visit India. After the building's construction was finished in 1924, it was used by important colonial employees as a symbolic ceremonial entrance into India.
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