In the wake of the disaster in Bowbazar, where buildings have collapsed and others developed wide cracks due to tunnelling work of the East West Metro project, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has decided to cut off water supply to several parts in the affected areas, fearing another collapse of buildings, damaging the pipelines.

A total of 20 more buildings are in a precarious position. The police are flying drones in the area to assess the damage.

The civic body has decided to cut off water supply to Durga Pituri Lane and Syakra Para Lane where buildings have collapsed over the past three days and some are standing in a precarious position, posing a risk of collapse at any moment.

These areas have bore the maximum brunt of the Metro tunnelling work, with buildings collapsing since 1 September, cracks on several buildings widening, and structures gradually sinking into the ground, which is being attributed to the rainfall in the city.

Residents in most of these, what could now be termed as ‘dangerous buildings’, as per KMC, have been evacuated but there are also buildings which have developed minor cracks and residents continue to reside in them.

Hence, the stoppage to the water supply has affected these residents who now have to queue up with buckets, waiting for the KMC-sent water tank vehicles which are now filling up the reservoirs in the affected parts.

A resident of Durga Pituri Lane, claimed “The flow of water supply began to reduce since yesterday. We have to cope with huge difficulties due to lack of water supply. However, the KMC has assured us that water tanks will be sent to our area.”

Another middle aged woman said: “We were not asked to evacuate our house since it has developed only a minor crack which can be repaired. But water supply has completely stopped from today leaving us in great difficulty. I am not keeping well and my husband is equally indisposed but we are somehow carrying heavy buckets of water back home from the water supply vehicles. It is taking a toll on our health.”

A KMC official, meanwhile, claimed that the measure has been taken to avert another mishap.