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Bowbazar families to get Rs 5 lakh each: Minister Firhad Hakim

Shop owners will also be compensated for damages and loss of livelihood

PTI | Published 16.10.22, 12:53 PM
Minister Firhad Hakim and others visit the affected area in Bowbazar on Saturday

Minister Firhad Hakim and others visit the affected area in Bowbazar on Saturday

My Kolkata

The West Bengal government on Saturday asked Metro Railway, Kolkata, to hand over a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to each of the families whose houses in the Bowbazar area have developed cracks because of construction work for the East-West corridor, urban development and municipal affairs minister Firhad Hakim said.

Shop owners who have been affected will also be compensated for the loss of livelihood based on a formula drawn up by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) — Rs 1.5 lakh for up to 100 sq ft, and Rs 5 lakh for more than 100 sq ft, said Hakim, who is also the Kolkata mayor.


The decision was taken at a meeting in the state secretariat Nabanna, chaired virtually by chief minister Mamata Banerjee, on October 15.

Besides Hakim, chief secretary H.K. Dwivedi, home secretary G.P. Gopalika, Kolkata Police commissioner Vineet Goyal, KMC commissioner Binod Kumar, senior officials of Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (KMRCL) and experts from Jadavpur University were present at the meeting.

At least 12 houses in Madan Dutta Lane developed cracks since Friday morning, following water seepage during work for a Metro tunnel, the third such incident in the area in three years.

Camps would be organised in the area from Sunday to provide compensation to the affected families, Hakim said after visiting the spot along with chief secretary Dwivedi and other senior officials.

"These cracks are the result of soil settlement," Hakim 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.”

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

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

Madan Dutta Lane, where the houses developed cracks, is a few metres away from Durga Pituri Lane, where several buildings were damaged because of ground subsidence in August 2019 and May this year.

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

On August 31, 2019, a tunnel boring machine (TBM) had hit an aquifer leading to severe ground subsidence and the collapse of several buildings. At least three houses were damaged again in May this year owing to ground subsidence caused by water seepage.

The East-West Metro, which is operated by the Indian Railway, is at present operational between Sector V in Salt Lake and Sealdah in Kolkata.

Of the 16.6km long line, the underground corridor stretches for 10.8km between Howrah Maidan and Phoolbagan with the tunnel passing below the Hooghly river. The rest of the tracks are elevated.

Last updated on 16.10.22, 12:53 PM

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