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Minister forced to vacate home

Cracks spread in houses adjacent to Durga Pithuri Lane.

Statesman News Service | Kolkata |

Baranagar MLA and state minister for planning and statistics Tapas Roy today vacated his Bowbazar residence after the Metro authorities approached the residents of the building where he resides to immediately leave the place as cracks have spread in the houses adjacent to Durga Pithuri Lane and Sankrapara Lane where four buildings have collapsed till now. Metro authorities also asked the residents of Gour Dey Lane to vacate their homes.

“This house is mentioned in the evacuation list. The officers and the engineers from the Metro authorities approached me at around 11.15 last night and wrote down the names of flat owners and number of families. Later they asked me to vacate it. There are other seven families here. I am shifting now as per the instructions of the Metro authorities. It is very unfortunate that buildings are developing cracks,” said Mr Roy.

Mr Roy has been provided accommodation at the quarters for MLAs at Park Circus by the government. On the other hand, some of the residents of Gour Dey Lane, refused to evacuate their homes and also protested against the Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation Limited (KMRCL), railing against the sudden notice for evacuating their premises. “The way they knocked at our doors at midnight without any proper documentation informing that we need to vacate the house by morning, is not acceptable to us,” said a resident of 6 Gour Dey Lane.

“They have given the notice on a piece of paper with a stamp on it as a notice which does not mention any details of our property and the owners. Unless we are provided with the details of our property with square feet area along with the owners and family members’ names, we will not leave our houses. We are even ready to risk our lives, but unless our demands of proper documentation by KMRCL are met, we will not vacate our houses,” added another resident of the building.

Lack of usual diet, meds:

Elderly citizens, who are being lodged at different hotels and guest houses in the city, are spending their days in fear of facing health hazards due to the lack of their usual diet and prescribed medicines that were a crucial part of their daily life.

The Shaw family, from Durga Pithuri Lane, had to leave the house during wee hours of last Sunday. The sudden news and hustle and bustle that followed, caused Mrs Shaw to forget to take the prescriptions for her husband, son and herself. Even during her visit to the house yesterday for ten minutes, the darkness and the hurry caused her to forget to retrieve the prescriptions from her bedroom.

The unavailability of medicines coupled with poor quality food, is causing apprehensions for Mrs Shaw who is now worried about her husband’s and son’s health.

“My husband has diabetes and he hardly eats potatoes or rice. I cook a special diet for him every day according to the doctor’s advice. But since the day we have come here, we are forced to eat food like luchi and aloo dum which are being brought from street vendors. We thanked our stars that our lives were saved when several buildings collapsed, but now we are worried about our health that might suffer due to such unhygenic food,” rued Mrs Shaw. Similar grievances were heard from other evacuees as well.

Water continues to flow:

Water from the aquifer continued to flow into the tunnel on the fifth day although the speed of land subsidence was arrested to some extent, sources in Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation Limited (KMRCL) informed today.

The KMRCL today called another international expert from Russia, who is said to have expertise in grouting, while experts from Hong Kong, Singapore and South Africa are already in the city. According to sources, although the speed of the flowing water has been brought down, the situation is yet to be fully under control as land subsidence continued below Gour Dey Lane resulting in the evacuation of the area. The KMRCL engineers are putting in their best efforts to stop the land subsidence that is reported to be taking place at the rate of 20 mm every day.