A big reinforced cement concrete (RCC) slab broke loose from the New Market roof and collapsed on three shops on Sunday afternoon.
According to Gorachand Mandal, director-general of buildings, Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC), a 12x10 ft slab collapsed around 3 pm, on shops B-83, B-84 and B-47. 'No one was injured,' he clarified.
The CMC was doing repair work on the roof and had stockpiled sand and stone-chips. A civic official said the RCC slab, on which the building materials had been dumped, couldn't bear the load and gave away.
'We were doing the repairs in a phased manner and wanting to prevent the seepage of water from the roof,' said Debabrata Das, assistant engineer of CMC's borough 6. 'After the collapse, we will have to stop repair work till a decision is taken by the authorities.'
Angry shop-owners pointed an accusing finger at CMC officials. 'Chunks from the ceiling have been falling into the market for quite some time. We told the CMC officials repeatedly to do something to prevent a major collapse, but they did nothing. We were lucky it happened on a Sunday when the market is not crowded,' said Pradip Chakraborty, general secretary of Shopkeepers Welfare Association of S.S. Hogg Market.
The market has around 10,152 shops.