The latest accident in Durga Pituri Lane in Bowbazar should not delay the completion of East-West Metro beyond a couple of months, said the chief of the implementing agency of the project.
“It is not a very big problem. Only a small patch has been affected. There should not be a delay of more than two to three months from the deadline,” said C.N. Jha, managing director of the Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation, the agency constructing East-West Metro that will finally connect Howrah Maidan with Salt Lake Sector V.
The present target of completion of the project, which has missed a series of deadlines, is January 2023.
“The target is January next year. But it will be revised after a fresh assessment in the wake of Thursday’s accident,” said Jha.
The assessment is expected to take “eight to 10 days’ time,” he said.
Nine buildings had been affected by the latest accident and 87 people relocated from their homes to hotels, said Jha.
Police later said 110 people were shifted till Thursday evening while the Kolkata Municipal Corporation has said 13 buildings have developed severe cracks and residents had to be shifted.
Over 20 houses had to be demolished in the wake of the 2019 accident in which a tunnel boring machine had hit an aquifer.
Asked about such a possibility this time, Jha said: “Our experts will assess the damage. The buildings that need immediate repair will be repaired and residents sent back home. If some building is beyond repair, then we will go for new construction. We will coordinate with the civic body.”
Another KMRC official said the leakage of water that started on Wednesday was under control. “Concrete is being poured to plug the area.”
The earlier deadline — December 2021 — could not be met because of the pandemic, said officials of the KMRC.
A 7km-stretch of the corridor — between Sector V and Phoolbagan — has been operational since October 2020.
A 2.3km-section, between Phoolbagan and Sealdah, is ready for commercial runs. “We are awaiting a nod from the Railway Board,” said an official.