May 14, 2022 6:06:15 am
A day after several buildings developed cracks in north Kolkata’s Bowbazar area due to tunnelling work for the East-West Metro project, city mayor Firhad Hakim said that those buildings cannot be razed suddenly without consulting experts.
Hakim also said that The Kolkata Metro Railway Corporation Ltd (KMRCL) has been asked to test the soil condition in Bowbazar to decide the fate of the buildings that have developed major cracks.
At least 12 buildings in the congested Bowbazar area developed major cracks on Thursday following which as many as 82 affected people were moved to different hotels.
Cracks opened up on nearby buildings after water entered the Howrah-bound under-construction tunnel of the East-West Metro from water pockets created by the heavy rains earlier this week. According to a KMC engineer, this resulted in the washing away of soil and sand, causing structural damage to the buildings.
“The buildings which developed cracks cannot be razed suddenly without consulting experts. The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has already appointed a committee of specialists from the Jadavpur University to examine the stability of those buildings in Durga Pithuri Lane,” Hakim said.
“The land beneath those houses is composed of silt. We need to find the current situation in the earth and that is why we have asked the Metro Railway authorities to appoint earth experts to evaluate it. They should see how much water has seeped under the surface as it could be dangerous for the Metro construction as well,” added Hakim, who is also a state minister.
The KMC’s building department engineers have already inspected the damaged buildings.
“We need reports from earth experts, because even if we rebuild the houses, they may not be intact for the next 50 years. These are old buildings, so even a small disturbance underneath causes damage to the structure,” Hakim added.
A BJP delegation, led by its leader Kalyan Choubey, visited the site on Friday and informed media persons that they will hold a meeting with KMRCL authorities on Saturday.
In August 2019, a tunnel boring machine had hit an aquifer, leading to severe ground subsidence and collapse of several buildings in the same area.
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