One year after being evacuated from their home at Durga Pithuri Lane which developed cracks from East-West metro works, the Baral family now live the life of refugees, with the trauma they faced on 1 September, last year.
With the memories of cracks and crevices, which were the last recollections of their homes that had sheltered them through thick and thin, the Barals now wish is to relive their lives in the present rubble, which was once their home.
Notably, the tunnel boring machine ‘Chandi’ hit an aquifer while digging ground for East-West metro project at Bowbazar on the night of 1 September.
Of the 70 odd structures that were impacted due to ground subsidence, 27 were damaged beyond repair and were demolished.
The Barals were evacuated from their house at 6a/2 Durga Pithuri Lane on the night of 1 September 2019. After spending more than two months at a city hotel, Dr. K.K. Baral along with his wife and son, had shifted to a rented flat at Teghoria in November 2019. Since then, they have been living there on rent, a share of which is being borne by the Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation Limited.
“I have never lived in a rented house since my birth and now every moment I remind myself I am a tenant. Since the time of 12.30 am, on 1 September 2019, when we left our house, till today, the last one year has been so painful that it cannot be described in words,” rued Nandita Baral, the wife. Mr. Baral said, “Even after one year, we are not certain as to when we will be able to return to our own house. There is no clear communication from the KMRCL authorities as to how long the present situation will prevail.”
Similar are the apprehensions of other evacuees from Durga Pithuri Lane and Syakra Para Lane.
The KMRCL officials informed, “Amid the present situation of Covid-19, the project encountered repeated disruptions. In the prevailing conditions, an estimated time as to when the 27 structures are likely to be completed, cannot be given.