Building Collapsed in Kolkata Metro Bowbazar Disaster Zone

More than 18 buildings in Bowbazar area were damaged due to the underground metro tunnel boring work. Metro officials said that houses will be rebuilt and give to the residents.

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Collapsed buildings

At least 515 people from 53 buildings were evacuated till Friday after several houses developed major cracks and some partially collapsed in Kolkata Metro Bowbazar disaster zone. A week after the mishap, Kolkata Metro Railway Corporation Ltd (KMRCL) announced that authorities will start the process of razing five gravely damaged buildings from Monday. Officials said that these houses are not in a condition to be repaired and should be brought down. The houses will be rebuilt after the grounding work is done.

‘We have not issued any fresh evacuation notice on Friday. Our immediate concern is to prevent the spread of the subsidence zone, which has assumed the shape of an ellipse. We are drilling holes into the ground and injecting a mixture (i.e. cement, sodium, silicate, bentonite and water) to fill the empty space. Five highly damaged buildings will be demolished starting Monday’, said the KMRC official.

‘A vertical or a slightly leaning wall of concrete will be build underground using the mixture. The wall is being built along the edges of the affected zone. It will not allow the subsidence zone to spread laterally’, he added.

A compensation cheque of INR 5 lakh was given to 19 families on Saturday. Many of the people complained to the authority that they could not move any of their valuables as they were forced to leave the houses on short notice. The KMRCL assured the residents that their lodging will be taken care of.

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee announced that if the affected people lose any official document, then the government takes the responsibility of making new documents for them; the victims should not worry about anything. She also assured that the government will carry all the expenses until the situation comes under control.

CM Mamata Banerjee talking to residents

Surprisingly, another building collapsed in Sekarpara lane of the affected area on Monday morning. A senior official of KMRCL said that this building was not market as damaged; fortunately, there is no news of injuries or casualties because the building was evacuated before the damage.

On the other hand, the KMRCL has started the process of knocking down five damaged building as per the announcement. The houses will be demolished one by one. Satyendra Nath Dutta, the local councillor, said, ‘The authorities have taken permission from the owners of these five houses. Other buildings will not be affected during the demolition process. After the groundwork is completed the houses will be rebuilt’.

It’s been more than a week but the people are still frightened. Every day a new building is collapsing, it has become a regular thing in the City of Joy. Calamities are increasing alarmingly and affected residents are helplessly staying at hotels.Every morning they reach to the damaged area to see the condition of their houses. Apart from the residents, the famous gold business of Bowbazar is in panic. Most of the workers of gold business have lost their job because they used to work from the houses that have now been evacuated. Few shopkeepers of the less affected area are still opening their shops on a daily basis; however, the number customers are very negligible.

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Authorities have set up a temporary control room in Goenka College. People are using the control number to stay in touch and lodge complaints.