The Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation Limited (KMRCL) on Saturday offered compensation to 19 families, whose houses had been damaged due to the tunnelling work at Bowbazar area during the construction of underground east west Metro corridor.
A cheque of Rs 5 lakh each were handed over to these people at the KMRCL office in Dharmatala area. Sources said 80 families have been identified so far.
While cheques were being distributed, a few residents shared their grievances with the KMRCL officials. “They have given us cheques, but what about our future. I also have a shop in the area. My entire business has shut down. I was not allowed to even take out valuables from the house. They cannot wash their hands of responsibility with this compensation,” said an affected resident.
However, the KMRCL officials assured them all support.
According to sources, initially 52 houses were identified as partially or wholly damaged and then 20 more were found to have developed cracks, following which residents were evacuated. Later more and more houses were found to be vulnerable. State minister Tapas Roy too had to evacuate his house with family.
The affected area was cordoned off and residents of some houses were allowed to go inside for 15 minutes to collect their belongings. But some houses were completely damaged, and the inhabitants failed to salvage any valuables, clothes or documents.
“In the first phase, 19 families have been compensated. We are hopeful that by Monday we will be able to transfer the compensation amount directly into the accounts of those affected. The verification process is still on, and it will be done in a phase-wise manner,” said a KMRCL official.
Meanwhile, residents continued to live in fear as more buildings had been developing cracks each day due to continuing land subsidence. Also, the existing cracks were getting wider.
KMRCL, Kolkata Municipal Corporation and police have formed a control room to help the residents. For any type of assistance, the residents can directly go to the control room or call at 9432610472.
Over 400 people were forced to evacuate their homes and shops in the heart of the city after over 50 buildings developed cracks due to tunnelling work.