NEW DELHI: Memories of that dreadful day in August 2019 revisited the residents as panic-stricken families of Durga Pituri Lane in central Kolkata’s Bowbazar had to rush out of their houses at night following deep cracks on walls that broadened from millimetres to inches within two hours.
Residents suspect underground construction work for the East-West Metro corridor under Kolkata Metro Railway Corporation Limited (KMRCL) likely to have caused cracks.
In 2019, several houses in the same area collapsed when an aquifer broke during tunnel boring for the East-West Metro corridor.
The fresh incident occurred at 9:45 pm on May 11 when several families noticed deeper cracks throughout their houses and called metro rail authorities and Police. Fearing for their safety, they also rushed out of their houses, carrying just their basic belongings.
Sandeep Shaw who is currently staying at a hotel with his family said, “The cracks increased from millimetre to inches within two hours. It happened at such a pace that we had no other options but to leave our houses at the earliest. It happened in 2019, again the same incident occurred in 2022. What are we supposed to do? We will lose everything if our houses are gone like this.”
Another resident Abhijit said, “In 2019, the metro rail authorities, after fixing the cracks, told us that nothing will happen for another 50 years.”
Residents of Durga Pituri lane recollect that in August 2019 they faced a similar fearful situation where they were moved out of their houses and were given shelter in a hotel. They had to stay there for three months before getting back to their houses.
The building department of Kolkata Municipal Corporation is going to conduct structural stability tests of the buildings.
Underground metro rail construction was going on in this Bowbazar which remains North Kolkata’s one of the most congested areas. The 16.6 km long East-West corridor that passes through Bowbazar, will connect Kolkata and Howrah.