The Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation Limited (KMRCL), from tomorrow, will start the demolition of five buildings at Durga Pithuri Lane in Bowbazar, which have been damaged beyond repair, sources in KMRCL said today. For pulling down the five buildings, KMRCL is said to have obtained the permission from Kolkata Municipal Corporation and the owners. The demolition is being done as per the advice of the team of national and international experts that have been called from various parts of the world, according to a KMRCL official.
An authorised agency of the ITD Cementation, which is the contractor of KMRCL , has been brought in to carry out the task of careful demolition at Durga Pithuri Lane, which is the epicentre of the subsidence. The collapse of around 10 buildings in the area has turned a large number of local residents of this stretch into refugees, sheltered at different city hotels and guest houses. The number of evacuees is on the rise with every passing day and has crossed 600 in the past week.
Before starting the demolition, the residents of the five buildings were allowed to go back to their homes and collect their belongings today. The residents of the five buildings removed their furniture, home appliances and other valuables from their houses. The greater challenge, according to KMRCL engineers, however, lies in the removal of debris. “Had the lanes been broader, the task of debris removal would have been easier for us. There are stretches where the passage of a truck or such vehicles is almost impossible. Some of the lanes and by-lanes are so narrow that only a single man can pass through at a time.
In such circumstances, we are left with no option than to carry the debris in trolleys which is an uphill task,” he pointed out. To provide immediate relief to the evacuees, KMRCL started distributing the compensation amount of rupees five lakhs yesterday to 19 affected families. To make the compensation process hassle-free, KMRCL, the implementing agency of Kolkata Metro Rail for the East-West corridor, had decided to transfer the compensation amount through RTGS from tomorrow. The authorities, simultaneously, are also contemplating to provide temporary accommodation to the affected families.
“We are trying to arrange temporary accommodation for the affected families in areas in and around Bowbazar,” informed a senior official of KMRCL. “For this, we are preferably looking for housing complexes, where larger number of evacuees could be accommodated at one place. We have also promised to pay the rent if the evacuees arrange the temporary accommodation themselves,” he added. “Inside the tunnel, the construction of the wall is being carried out and expected to be completed by tonight,” informed a KMRCL engineer. With extensive grouting inside the tunnel and at three places above the ground, the engineers have been able to bring down the rate of subsidence considerably and are hopeful of reaching a controlled situation by Tuesday.