The Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation Limited (KMRCL) is gearing up to restart tunnelling at Bowbazar within this week. The work that had been halted in September lats year, is being resumed after more than five months in the city’s gold hub which witnessed cracks, cave-ins and crevices due to tunnelling in one part of the East-West Metro Corridor turning hundreds of residents into refugees overnight and costing the evacuees their lifetime earnings.
A tunnel boring machine, Chandi, while burrowing the ground below Durga Pithuri Lane had struck a water aquifer on 1 September, last year, setting the lives of a more than two hundred residents of Bowbazar upside down. The shining metal lost its shimmer for numerous traders of gold whose businesses were adversely affected due to the sudden occurrence of water in the path of the TBM.
A team of national and international experts had identified the houses that had been damaged due to tunnelling. Following the major blow that the project witnessed around five and a half months ago, the KMRCL authorities are leaving no stones unturned to prevent history from repeating itself and make the move of the tunnel boring machine safe for the residents of the area.
According to officials of KMRCL, the engineers of the implementing agency of the East-West Corridor are now making preparations for resuming the work at the site. “We are taking all precautionary measures as per the directive of the Calcutta High Court,” informed a senior official of KMRCL.
“The work on refurbishing the tunnel boring machine Urvi is going on before giving it a restart. The work will start very soon with all the protocols and recommendations of the experts including the ones from IIT-Madras,” he added. As the TBM is supposed to pass through Chetan Sen Lane near Nirmal Chandra Street, two families have been shifted to two different city hotels. “The shifting is temporary as a precautionary measure, and the families will be made to return in a few days,” claimed an official of KMRCL.