The residents of Durga Pituri Lane in the congested Bowbazar are tensed as cracks appears in at least ten residential buildings in the area on late Wednesday evening because of the underground tunnel boring work of East West Metro railway projects.
To recall, in August 2019, cracks appeared in around 40 houses in the same Durga Pituri Lane and at that point of time over 250 residents were evacuated by the Kolkata Railway authorities, who arranged for the accommodation of the evacuated residents in different city hotels for about three months. Later those residents returned their respective homes after the cracks were repaired.
This time, Metro Railway authorities too have assured the residents of arranging temporary accommodation for them till the cracks get repaired.
The Metro Railways engineers and technicians have already reached Durga Pituri Lane and started investigating the reasons behind the cracks and are also evaluating how vulnerable are the cracks are.
After the houses started developing cracks, the residents rushed out of their shelters with essential documents. Durga Pituri Lane is an extremely congested lane in Bowbazar locality in central Kolkata, with most of the residential houses there being extremely old and in dilapidated conditions.
The local Trinamool Congress councilor, Bishwaroop Dey rushed to the spot. He said that the cracks started appering from around 7 p.m. on Wednesday and cracks became severe by around 11 p.m. “Although the Metro Railways authorities were informed soon after the crack started developing. However, they responded late,” Dey alleged.
The underground tunnel, that reportedly caused the cracks, is supposed to connect Esplanade with Sealdah. The area is extremely congested with the lateral existence of several old and dilapidated residential houses, many gold and silver jewellery manufacturing shops and one of the oldest red-light areas of Kolkata at Premchand Boral Street in the area.
The underground tunnel is a part of the Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (KMRCL) project to connect Howrah station with IT Sector in Salt Lake in the northern outskirts of Kolkata.