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Work starts on New Garia-Airport Metro plot

The plot where once stood (below) Mohisgote Free Primary School.  Pictures by Mayukh Sengupta

New Town: The railways have barricaded the plot where three buildings stood in the way of the New Garia-Airport Metro project at Mahisbathan on the outskirts of Salt Lake.

Work on diverting the underground utilities will start this week, a railway official said. Tenders will be floated in a day or two for the construction of viaducts, the official said.

The Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation had pulled down the multistorey Blue Orchid Hotel, identified in civic records as "White Building or Oyo Hotels", the Mohisgote Free Primary School, and AS Media Enterprise, Super Glass and New Mohini Sweets that housed several shops and warehouses.

These buildings were close to the bridge connecting New Town and Salt Lake.

"The demolition and the removal of rubble is done," mayor Sabyasachi Dutta said. "We have handed over the site to the railways to start work."

The plot, which had (below) Blue Orchid Hotel. The railways has barricaded the area

The construction of the 1.45km viaduct between Mahisbathan and New Town had stopped six years ago because of the buildings in the way.

On Sunday, the civic body removed the tarpaulin from the left flank of the bridge that had been put up a day after the demolition started on March 29.

The extreme left lane that had been closed to traffic to stop people from taking selfies with the demolition work in the background was thrown open on Sunday.

The railways have placed iron sheets with New Garia-Airport Metro corridor written on them across the plot to barricade the area.

The civic body has notified the district administration that work on pulling down the buildings and clearing the area of debris has been completed and that the Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd (RVNL) could start work, a civic official said.

Apart from these three buildings, the civic body had put up a demolition notice on Megacity Inn but its owner, Satrajit Roy, has moved the West Bengal Land Reforms and Tenancy Tribunal, the official said.

"The tribunal ordered to maintain status quo till the next hearing on June 6," Roy said.

"The authorities must compensate us properly and give us an alternative plot to run my business... my employees will lose their jobs if they pull down the hotel/"

Residents of Ramdhanu Housing Complex that is likely to be pulled down have moved Calcutta High Court.

Some of the residents said no one from the railways or the civic body had spoken to them. "We are not sure what is going to happen... we have been kept in the dark," Mukul Khan, who stays in the complex, said.

At least 36 families live in the two towers that stand in the way of the viaduct. The first three floors house commercial establishments.

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