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Kolkata: Another building collapses in Bowbazar due to Metro work, Mamata demands compensation

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Kolkata: Another building collapses in Bowbazar due to Metro work, Mamata demands compensation

Another building, the second one on Bowbazar Street in central Kolkata, came crumbling down on Tuesday. The first house collapsed on Saturday night following the boring for the 16.6 km of East-West flank of the Metro.

The Metro will run underground for a stretch of 10 km, connecting twin cities of Howrah and Kolkata, before taking the surface.

About 52 houses in the central part of the city developed cracks and 70 families had to be evacuated in apprehension of further cave-ins. The condition of a dozen of houses is quite bad.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee held a meeting with Metro officials on Tuesday and asked them to compensate each of the affected families with a minimum of Rs 5 lakh.

Though the Metro was non-committal on this, it agreed to bear the cost of relocation, rent of the affected people until some permanent arrangements are made.

By announcing the compensation package in front of Metro officials, the chief minister's objective was served. She was able to give the message that she has good intentions of helping people and now the ball is in the Ministry of Railways' court.

Describing the incident of collapse as "unprecedented" in the history of metros in the country, Managing Director of Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation (KMRC) said experts from Singapore and Hong Kong will be coming to assess what went wrong.

"We have conducted sample soil test of each layers of soil and water pockets. There was no problem with 250 meters of water bearing layers also," he said.

Following the accident, the Metro has decided to suspend work, until experts have investigated and studied the entire situation. The work will stand delayed for a year and the Metro feels the date of commissioning East-West Metro stands on 2021 and so it has time to make up for the loss.