The Kolkata Metro has been asked to test the condition of the soil in the Bowbazar area to decide the fate of the buildings that have developed major cracks. The city’s mayor Firhad Hakim was quoted in a PTI report saying that the buildings cannot be razed suddenly without consulting experts and a committee of specialists has already been appointed by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) from the Jadavpur University in order to examine the stability of those buildings located in Durga Pithuri Lane. According to Hakim, the land is composed of silt. There’s a need to identify the current situation on the earth and that’s why they have asked the Metro authorities to appoint earth experts to evaluate it, he said.
Hakim further said that they should see how much water has seeped into, which could also be dangerous for the construction of the metro. It’s not a good idea to reconstruct the houses without proper testing of soil, he said. Hakim further said that they need reports from earth experts, because even if they rebuild the houses, the houses may not be intact for the next 50 years. As these are old buildings, even a small disturbance underneath causes damage to the structure, he mentioned.
According to the report, at least 12 buildings in the congested central locality of Kolkata have developed major cracks, following which as many as 232 people were moved to different hotels. It further said water entered East-West Metro’s Howrah-bound under-construction tunnel from water pockets created due to heavy fall. This led to the washing away of sand and soil, resulting in structural damage to the buildings, a KMC engineer said. The buildings which have developed cracks have already been inspected by KMC building department engineers. They also checked the condition of the neighbouring houses.