West Bengal govt asks Kolkata Metro to compensate Bowbazar victims

On August 31, 2019, a tunnel boring machine (TBM) had hit an aquifer leading to severe ground subsidence and the collapse of several buildings

Livemint
First Published16 Oct 2022
The incidents have delayed the East-West Metro project, which will connect Salt Lake to Howrah via Kolkata.
The incidents have delayed the East-West Metro project, which will connect Salt Lake to Howrah via Kolkata.

Kolkata mayour Firhad Hakim said on Saturday that the West Bengal government has asked Kolkata Metro to compensate families whose houses in the Bowbazar area have developed cracks due to construction work of the East-West Corridor with 5 lakh each within a month.

Affected shop owners in the area will also be compensated for the loss of livelihood based on a formula derived from Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) - 1.5 lakh up to 100 sq ft and 5 lakh if ​​more than 100 square feet, he said.

The decision was taken in a meeting at state secretariat Nabanna, chaired virtually by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

In addition to Hakim, the meeting was attended by Chief Secretary HK Dwivedi, Interior Minister GP Gopalika, Police Commissioner of Kolkata Vineet Goyal, KMC Commissioner Binod Kumar and senior officers of Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (KMRCL) and experts from the University of Jadavpur.

At least 12 homes in Madan Dutta Lane have developed cracks since Friday morning after water entered during work on a subway tunnel, the third such incident in the area in three years.

Camps will be held in the area from Sunday to compensate affected families, Hakim said after visiting the site with Dwivedi and other senior officials.

"These cracks are the result of soil settlement," he said, adding that experts were asked for tests so that the KMRCL can repair or rebuild the affected buildings.

"Immediate arrangements should be made for shifting the affected families to safer locations. In case of students, patients and vulnerable persons, special care will be taken," he said.

KMRCL was asked to give prior intimation to the police and civic authorities before restarting the works, the mayor said.

Total 180 people of 28 families have been affected by the disaster, an official of the state government said.

Madan Dutta Lane, this time affected by the disaster, is located a few meters from Durga Pituri Lane, where in August 2019 and in May of this year several buildings exploded and some collapsed due to subsidence.

The incidents have delayed the East-West metro project which will link Salt Lake to Howrah via Kolkata.

On 31 August 2019, a tunnel boring machine (TBM) hit an aquifer, causing severe subsidence and the collapse of several buildings. In May of this year, at least three houses were again damaged by subsidence due to water infiltration.

The East-West Metro, operated by the Indian Railroad, is currently operating between Sector V in Salt Lake and Sealdah in Calcutta.

Of the 16.6 km long line, the underground corridor is 10.8 km between Howrah Maidan and Phoolbagan, with the tunnel passing under the Hooghly River, while the rest is elevated.

With inputs from PTI

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