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HC orders stoppage of tunneling work as another building collapses

Kolkata: Calcutta High Court asked Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation Ltd to stop tunnel boring work in the area on Tuesday, as a three-storey building collapsed partially at Durga Pithuri Lane, while a few others developed fresh cracks.

A division bench of Calcutta High Court headed by T B Radhakrishnan ordered immediate stoppage of the ongoing tunnel boring work undertaken for the East-West Metro in Bowbazar area, after a petition was filed by an NGO. The court has asked KMRCL authorities to submit a detailed report mentioning the reason behind the damage to the buildings and the measures being taken to restore it, by September 16.

A number of buildings at Durga Pithuri Lane, Syakra Para Lane, Madan Dutta Lane and Gour Dey Lane have been badly damaged, while cracks have developed in a number of them due to the ongoing tunnel boring work undertaken by the authorities of East-West Metro in Bowbazar area since Saturday evening.

"The building situated at 13 A, Durga Pithuri Lane collapsed at 12:30 pm. The ground floor of the building had a pipe godown," said Abhi Chowdhury, a resident of Gour Dey Lane in Bowbazar.

Most of the buildings that have suffered damages are more than 150 years old. "The building situated at 13 C, Durga Pithuri Lane is also developing cracks. No one is allowed to roam around the area because the building might collapse at any time," Abhi pointed out.

"Our house didn't get cracks but we have been shifted to a hotel for safety purpose. We are not allowed to enter our house," said Namita Das, a resident of 94, BB Ganguly Street.

KMRCL informed the High Court on Tuesday that they have already stopped the tunnel boring work. They also informed that they have roped in foreign experts who will examine the cause and also provide suggestions on what could be done to repair the damage. The court will look into the detailed report before passing the next order.

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