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Water seepage plugged at Bowbazar tunnel

KMRCL is planning to either constitute an expert committee or engage a reputed institution to ascertain the cause of this incident.

Statesman News Service | Kolkata |

Water seepage in the Esplanade side tunnel of the East-West Metro at Bowbazar finally was plugged last night and the Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation (LMRCL) is planning to either constitute an expert committee or engage a reputed institution to prepare a roadmap for the future works.

Notably, residents of Durga Pithuri Lane in Bowbazar had to be evacuated in the wee hours of 12 May when cracks started reappearing in several structures of the area. Around 87 residents were rescued and shifted to various city hotels by the KMRCL. A total of 141 residents were evacuated from nine buildings having cracks due to the ingress of water. The implementing agency of the project claimed ingress of water in the tunnel from 11 different points, of which 10 were sealed with grouting by yesterday afternoon.

Seepage from the remaining one was stopped at around 10 pm last night. The engineers of the implementing agency installed censors in the affected structures to monitor the situation of the damaged buildings. Even as the water ingress had stopped, the KMRCL engineers are keeping a strict watch on the tunnel to find out if there were chances of leakage from some other points.

Although the seepage has stopped and the KMRC engineers claimed that there was no incremental settlement surrounding the structures, the mayor of Kolkata Municipal Corporation, Firhad Hakim expressed concerns over the safety of the concrete tunnel. The mayor held a high-level meeting with the KMRCL officials today.

“In Kolkata, the absorption capacity of soil is less. So, how much damage has the water ingress caused and how much damage has been caused by the water inside, needs to be known. Leave alone the buildings, how safe is the Metro tunnel now, all this would be assessed by them. I will suggest they engage some earth experts to see the matter thoroughly.

Meanwhile, KMRCL is planning to either constitute an expert committee or engage a reputed institution to ascertain the cause of this incident and also to suggest if the corrective measures taken are adequate and to prepare a roadmap for the future work,” informed project director, KMRCL, NC Karmali. Even the deadline for the completion of the East-West Metro could be delayed by a couple of months due to the disaster, according to the KMRCL authorities.

In August 2019, around 40 houses in the same lane had developed cracks and at that time, over 250 residents were evacuated by the Kolkata Metro Railway Corporation (KMRCL) authorities, who arranged for the accommodation of the evacuated residents in different city hotels for about three months. Later, the residents returned to their respective homes after the cracks were repaired.