Panic gripped the residents of Madan Dutta Lane at the congested Bowbazar area in central Kolkata on Friday as several houses in the locality adjacent to an under-construction metro project developed cracks.
No casualty or injury was reported.
As per initial estimates 142 persons were displaced as cracks developed in 14 houses in the locality, mostly over two-centuries old.
This is the second time this year that people in the locality woke up to such chaos.
On May 12, cracks developed in over 10 houses in the adjacent Durga Pituri Lane displacing several people.
A.K. Nandy, general manager of the Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation (KMRCL), informed that the authorities will arrange for temporary accommodation of the people displaced because of the cracks in nearby hotels.
“The cracks would be repaired after which these residents will be able to return to their respective homes,” he said.
KMRCL Managing Director, C.N. Jha said the cracks might have developed because of leakage of water from the cross passage of the tracks in the under-construction Kolkata East-West metro project.
“The water started leaking at 3 a.m. Our officials are there and trying to gauge the reason behind this mishap,” said Jha.
In August 2019, cracks appeared in 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 their accommodation in different hotels for about three months.
The Bowbazar area, through which an underground tunnel is supposed to connect Esplanade with Sealdah, had faced this menace of cracks at the residences in the locality quite frequently.
The underground tunnel is a part of the KMRCL project to connect Howrah station with IT Sector in Salt Lake.
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.