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Govt sets new conditions for tunnelling work

KMRC will have to inform Kolkata Police and KMC before taking up any underground work in Bowbazar in the future

Kinsuk Basu | Published 16.10.22, 03:04 AM
Durga Pituri Lane in Bowbazar

Durga Pituri Lane in Bowbazar

File picture

The Kolkata Metro Railway Corporation (KMRC), which is executing the EastWest Metro project, will have to inform Kolkata police and the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) before taking up any underground work in Bowbazar in the future, mayor Firhad Hakim said on Saturday.

“The KMRC will have to inform Kolkata police and the KMC before taking up any further work in Bowbazar. We will arrange for shifting of residents from the houses in the influence zone in association with the KMRC (after getting the intimation),” Hakim said.


“The intimation will have to come prior to taking up the work, maybe 10, 15 or 20 days ahead. It can’t be that residents are suddenly asked to step out and be lodged in hotels after their houses and buildings have developed cracks overnight.”

As many as 136 people from at least 10 buildings on Madan Dutta Lane in Bowbazar, which lies just above an underground passage connecting the two ducts of the East-West Metro tunnel is being built, had to be evacuated.

They were lodged in hotels in central Kolkata on Friday after KMRC officials realised that cracks that developed since the night before would continue to grow because of the continuous seepage of water underground.

Some residents said they did not get time to pick up their essentials before stepping out of their homes and others complained about how very little time was allotted to them to pack up and leave.

“Chief minister Mamata Banerjee is concerned about the situation in Bowbazar. She has been repeatedly enquiring about the residents of this area,” Hakim, also the urban development and municipal affairs and housing minister, said during his visit to the epicentre of Friday’s disaster. “Our primary concern is the safety of the residents.”

The visit to Bowbazar was preceded by a meeting at state secretariat Nabanna chaired by chief secretary H.K. Dwivedi.

The chief minister was virtually present at the meeting attended by Hakim, the home secretary, the police commissioner, the KMC commissioner, KMRC’s managing director and Jadavpur University representatives.

“The chief minister has instructed us to find a way out of the continuous harassment that the residents here are being subjected to,” Hakim said.

The state government has decided to start a camp at the construction site in Bowbazar to address the grievances of the distressed residents.

Representatives from the police, officials from the KMC’s buildings department and the KMRC will be present at the camp.

“The camp will start functioning from Sunday. The local councillor of the KMC will be present along with other officials,” Hakim said.

For at least three years after the completion of the Metro construction, the KMRC will be responsible for any soil settlement or disaster owing to the settlement, the state government has decided.

Last updated on 16.10.22, 03:04 AM

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