Alleging that Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation (KMRCL) is yet to fulfil its promise of rehabilitating them, the Bowbazar traders — who had to shut their shops after several buildings in the area developed cracks and some collapsed due to a tunnel-boring work in August-September — protested on Monday. The protestors disrupted the ongoing repair and reconstruction work in Durga Pithuri Lane in the area, demanding assurances in writing.
The shops and offices at Durga Pithuri Lane, Shyakra Para Lane and B B Ganguly Street in Bowbazar are shut since August 31 when the buildings started developing cracks due to the tunneling work for East-West Metro corridor. The KMRCL had assured the affected businessmen that they would be rehabilitated. A committee was formed to hear the issues of the shop owners of the concerned area and a proposal was given to pay an ad hoc amount of Rs 50,000 to the those affected.
As per the shop owners, the authorities are yet to fulfil their promises.
“They had promised us compensation, but we haven’t received it. We don’t know what will happen to the labours who worked in our shops,” said a trader.
The KMRCL officials have held several meetings with the traders.
Residents of Bowbazar were left shaken after cracks appeared on over 60 buildings due to the work on the East-West Metro. Experts and engineers working on the project – which is being deemed as India’s technological marvel considering the underwater Metro tunnel passing through river Hooghly – suggested that water leaking into the tunnel resulted in a cave in. The machine, which was boring the tunnel, through which Howrah Maidan-bound trains will run, hit a giant aquifer. Water from the aquifer flooded the tunnel, triggering subsidence and causing severe damage to many buildings.