Kolkata: West Bengal’s Department of Planning & Statistics Minister Tapas Roy was asked to vacate his house as a precautionary measure at Bowbazar following cracks in most of the adjacent buildings due to the underground tunnel boring work for East-West metro railway project.
Speaking to News18, Roy said: “On Wednesday, the chief engineer and general manager of Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation Limited (KMRCL) came to my BB Ganguly Street house and asked me to vacate it as cracks have appeared in most of the adjacent buildings in the area.”
Roy has been staying at the BB Ganguly Street residence for over 13 years. “It is very unfortunate that buildings are developing cracks. Can’t do anything. I will vacate my house soon,” he said.
KMRCL sources said since the epicenter of the incident was Durga Pituri Lane, it may be possible that the minister’s house also suffers some damage. “We don’t want to take any risk and therefore, we have asked him to vacate his house as soon as possible,” a senior KMRCL official said.
On September 1, more than 20 buildings (over 100 years old) developed cracks due to the ongoing underground tunnel boring work for East-West metro railway project and more than 300 people were shifted to a nearby hotels or in guest houses.
President of Swarna Shilpa Bachao Committee, Samar Kumar De, said: “Most of the jewelers managed to take out their gold and other valuable items. There are artisans whose houses collapsed and they failed to take out their valuables, including raw material required to make jewellery. Those areas are well guarded by the police. There was two Bullion and two hallmark centres. We have given space for one hallmark centre so that business is not hampered.”
Residents of Durga Pituri Lane, Babu Ram Seal Lane and Gour De Lane in Bowbazar area complained that the metro railway officials did not undertake a proper scientific survey of the houses before carrying out the underground tunnel work for metro project which will connect Esplanade with Sealdah.
According to KMRCL, the problem started in the underground stretch between Hind Cinema and Durga Pithuri Lane when underground water suddenly gushed into the tunnel and the soil above became loose. This led to cracks in the buildings causing severe problem for the residents. KMRCL has decided to halt work for two weeks now.