Experts from Jadavpur University will identify the stretch of Durga Pituri Lane in central Kolkata’s Bowbazar where cracks have appeared in buildings because of East-West Metro work and then assess the structures, an expert said on Monday.
The team, which visited the site along with engineers from Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) during the day, will also inspect the buildings that are apparently unscathed.
“We will start with identifying the area that has been affected by soil settlement (related to the Metro work),” Ramendu Bikas Sahu, a senior professor of civil engineering at Jadavpur University, told The Telegraph.
“After that, we will assess the condition of the buildings and identify the ones that need partial or full reconstruction and those that need repairs.”
The cracks, which appeared for the second time in three years, have displaced over 160 people.
While Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation (KMRC), the implementing agency of East-West Metro, has said nine buildings have developed cracks, KMC engineers have said 13 have been damaged.
On Monday, KMC engineers and the JU experts conducted a preliminary survey of three buildings — on 16, 16/1 and 15 Durga Pituri Lane.
The KMRC has decided to partially pull down the first two because of their precarious condition.
Officials of the agency said they would write to the KMC for permission to pull down the third, too.
Late on Monday evening, local councillor Bishwarup Dey said the owner of 16 Durga Pituri Lane had sent a letter to the KMRC objecting to the partial demolition of the building. KMRC officials said they would meet the owner on Tuesday.
The JU-KMC team will start assessing the circumference of the affected zone on Tuesday morning, said an official.
Once the area has been identified, the JU experts will study the nature of the cracks and find out whether any building has tilted or not. If any tilt is spotted, they will measure its degree.
“Once the exact area has been identified, we will study the extent of ground settlement within this zone to understand its impact on the foundation of the buildings,” said Sahu, whose specialisation is soil mechanics and foundation engineering.
KMRC officials have said they will abide by the recommendations of the joint team in regard to the condition of the buildings.
“We will go by the findings of this team as far as the condition of the buildings is concerned and whether some of them need to be pulled down or repaired,” C.N. Jha, managing director of KMRC, had told residents of Durga Pituri Lane on Sunday.
On Monday, KMRC officials said they had submitted some of their reports, including the ones on ground settlement, to the JU experts.
“We will go through those reports and then draw up our own based on the findings of the survey," Sahu said. "We will try and submit a preliminary report as early as possible.”