Kolkata, Sep 9 (IANS) Kolkata Metro Railway Corporation Limited (KMRCL) here on Monday said it would demolish five damaged houses in the Bowbazar area to do the tunneling work for the 16.60-km East-West Metro Railway project, a part of which constitutes India’s first under-river train line.
The demolition work will begin on Tuesday. All the five houses are in Durga Pituri Lane.
KMRCL has received the house owners’ nod to demolish them as they were beyond repair and their structures become weak after a tunnel boring machine hit an aquifer causing gushing out of water and silt, and triggering serious ground loss on several roads.
Over 50 buildings have developed cracks, with one of them collapsing on Monday, prompting the authorities to shift out over 400 residents of Durga Pituri Lane, Babu Ram Seal Lane, B.B. Ganguly Street and Gour De Lane to guest houses and hotels.
KMRCL had set up a panel to review the condition of the houses and interact with owners as well as various state agencies, like the police and fire brigade, to decide their fate.
The KMRCL has paid Rs 5 lakh compensation to 52 families each.
The project — technologically analogous to the Eurostar (connecting Paris and London) — bridges the twin cities of Howrah and Kolkata, and has been planned to cut the cost by half and travel time almost by an hour.
The Metro would run from Salt Lake’s Sector V, Kolkata’s IT hub, to Howrah Maidan. Of the 16.60 kms, 5.8 km will be an elevated corridor and 10.8 km underground. The 520-metre twin tunnels under the river are part of the underground stretch.
Once commissioned, one would travel more than a 10-storied building below the water surface for almost 500 metre across the 460-metre-wide Hooghly.
The affected section — from Esplanade to Sealdah — is a 2.45 km stretch. The tunnel boring machine was about 600 metres from Sealdah when disaster struck.