At least 15 goldsmiths from Durga Pituri Lane in central Kolkata’s Bowbazar, who lost their livelihood following subsidence in May, have not heard anything from the Kolkata Metro Railway Corporation (KMRC) or the Kolkata Municipal Corporation about their compensation.
While a few have managed to find alternative space on rent, most have yet to find a room to relocate with their workers.
Spaces that are available on rent in Shyakrapara Lane, Ramkanai Adhikari Lane and Chhana Patty are too expensive for most of them. “I have found a small room on Nabin Chand Boral Lane,” said Panchu Mullick, who had his workshop at 19 Durga Pituri Lane.
Mullick used to pay a rent of Rs 1,000 for two rooms in Durga Pituri Lane that his grandfather had hired several decades back. He is now forced to pay Rs 4,000 for a tiny room.
For several decades, goldsmiths of Bowbazar have preferred to work from an area close to where big jewellery showrooms are located on BB Ganguly Street.
Since the disaster in May, almost all the goldsmiths on Durga Pituri Lane have been forced to move the jewellery hub.
Amal Das had a workshop in 17 Durga Pituri Lane. He has now moved out to a location near Nebutalla Park.
“I had taken the room in Durga Pituri Lane by paying Rs 5.3 lakh as salami almost a decade back. Ten people used to work for me almost round-the-clock,” he said. “Now, I have to pay a rent of Rs 12,000 for a far smaller space where only three of us can work.”
Several goldsmiths who spoke to The Telegraph said they had lost out of on a month’s work.
“No one is keen to address our concerns,” said Paritosh Kar, one of the goldsmiths of Durga Pituri Lane. “There should be some compensation package for us also. We have decided to write to the mayor.”
Soon after the subsidence, mayor Firhad Hakim had said alternative arrangements would be made for the goldsmiths. Over a month now, senior officials from the KMC said they were in the process of working out a plan for the traders.
Some of the goldsmiths said they have submitted in writing to the KMRC their demand for compensation. But no one has responded till now.
“We have collected a list of traders, who have been affected, from the local councillor. A copy of that list is with the civic officials as well,” said a senior KMRC official. “We have already asked for details from these traders. Something will be worked out for sure.”